AppGratis building HTML5 app to circumvent Apple restrictions


AppGratis is building an HTML5-based web application in a move to continue its mobile app discovery and deals service free from restrictions imposed by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Apple ousted AppGratis--which spotlights premium applications offered for free or at heavily discounted prices and promotes "freemium giveaways" like free in-app purchases and level unlocks--from the App Store earlier this month, explaining it violated iOS developer clause 2.25, which reads "Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected," as well as clause 5.6, which says "Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions or direct marketing of any kind."

In a blog post published Thursday, AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat said the company will move forward by publishing a daily newsletter complemented by the "newest and nicest HTML5 WebApp you'll ever see. Two things we fully own, and that no one can take away from us." Dawlat added that AppGratis generated more than $9 million in revenues in 2012 and is on track to rake in $25 million this year.

Dawlat also disputed allegations that AppGratis charged iOS developers large sums of cash to vault their applications to the top of Apple's App Store download rankings. According to a document obtained by Business Insider, developers who paid AppGratis $100,000 were guaranteed a top five slot in the U.S. outpost of the Apple storefront. The publication adds it obtained the document from a source within the developer community.

"[Our] money comes from advertisers with freemium apps," Dawlat said. "All we do is simplify discovery for our users. Simplify attracting new valuable users for developers. And send the App Store around 300 million visits per year."

In related news, French publication JDN reports Apple has now blocked AppGratis from sending push notifications to its existing iOS users. In a copy of an email sent to AppGratis subscribers in Italy and obtained by TechCrunch, AppGratis urges users not to panic and reiterates its plans to offer a daily newsletter spotlighting mobile app deals and discounts.

For more:
- read this AppGratis Blog post
- read this TechCrunch article

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