Deletion of Apple's AppGratis a sign of things to come -- report

A new report claims Apple will remove app-discovery programs from its App Store for fear they will threaten the App Store's rankings.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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It looks like AppGratis might not be the last app-discovery application to be removed from Apple's App Store.

Apple is planning to remove several app-discovery programs currently available in its App Store on the same grounds that it removed AppGratis, All Things Digital is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of Apple's plans. The site's sources say that Apple is worried that app-discovery applications that help promote programs from other developers threaten the App Store's rankings.

AppGratis was removed from the App Store last week in a move that shocked Simon Dalwat, chief executive at AppGratis. In a blog post yesterday, he acknowledged that Apple's move was "a hard hit," but added that his company's "mission is far from finished."

According to AppGratis, its app was removed for violating two provisions in Apple's App Store guidelines that forbid apps to display apps from other developers, as well as programs that push notifications for marketing reasons.

Apple has been at the center of a slew of app-removal battles with developers, and in some cases, has reversed its course to satisfy critics. So far, the company hasn't said what its move will be this time around.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the All Things Digital report. We will update this story when we have more information.