AppGratis CEO 'sad and scared' about Apple rejection, company searching for solution


AppGratis issued a long emotional response to Apple's (NASDAQ:APL) rejection of its app discovery service, arguing that Apple's action happened without much warning and has left the company searching for answers and a solution.

"Initially, I thought we'd been caught in an internal communication accident and not the victim of a supposed 'ban on third-party apps.' We checked the apps of our competitors, all of them were available for download," wrote AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat in a blog post. "While we stand in total disbelief that Apple actually made the decision to cut a service used by so many of their users, those people still have AppGratis on their iPhone and iPad. And we owe them new app deals every day. And that is pretty much where we stand, still stunned that Apple took the decision to destroy so much value within their own ecosystem, but more than ever convinced that what we're doing is good, and accomplishing a much needed mission in a broken App Discovery world."

Dawlat confirmed that AppGratis had been pulled from the App Store for violating Apple developer guidelines 2.25 ("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") and 5.6  ("Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions or direct marketing of any kind"). But he assured AppGratis users and partners that the app removal was only temporary.

"Even if our iOS apps are momentarily unavailable, your app recommendation service, AppGratis, is very much up and running. If you're part of the 12 million lucky people to have downloaded our app before last Friday, know that it will keep updating everyday with new free apps and cool discounts. So will our website, and so will our daily newsletter," Dawlat wrote.

He did not reveal when the native AppGratis app would again be available for download. "Our iOS apps may have been unavailable now for a few days, but at the same time, a few million free apps have been downloaded through AppGratis since last Friday," Dawlat noted. 

"And I know that right now, some of you are sad and scared. I am too. But even in dark times, every problem has a solution. And we are going to find one," Dawlat wrote.

Interestingly, Dawlat wrote that AppGratis had been in touch with Apple for months about improving AppGratis' app. He said the company initially had different versions of the app for different countries, but said the company worked with Apple to create one version for multiple countries, so as not to run afoul of Apple's policies. Dawlat said that, as of last week, the AppGratis team had its app for the iPad approved for the App Store.

AppGratis is by no means alone in being rejected by Apple from the App Store. For example, Apple introduced the 2.25 clause in September and pulled price tracker app AppShopper in December for violating the rule. AppShopper is still missing from the App Store.

For more:
- see this AppGratis blog post 
- see this TechCrunch story

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AppGratis' competitors escape Apple's knife - for now
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Where do chart-climbing apps come from?
Apple boots AppShopper for violating new App Store guidelines
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