AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat issued a statement yesterday about the recent removal of the AppGratis apps from the App Store. He confirmed that they were pulled for violating App Store guidelines 2.25 and 5.6, which state as folows:
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.
Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.
Dawlat says the AppGratis app was originally approved by two Apple reviewers, but rejected by a third reviewer shortly after the release of the app’s iPad version.
Dawlat, via MacRumors:
Early Monday, R. gave me a follow-up call. He basically couldn’t go beyond repeating multiple times that our app had been pulled out due to guideline 2.25 and 5.6.
I asked how he and his team could have possibly changed their minds overnight, pretty much pulling the plug on a 45-person company. He seemed very detached regarding the gravity of the situation, and was unable to let me know on what specifics these decisions had been made.
Dawlat went on to say that he remains in “absolute shock” about the AppGratis rejection, but says the service is “far from finished.”
In related news, AllThingsD reports that the banishment of AppGratis from the App Store was just a first step in a broader enforcement action generally targeted at app-discovery apps that run afoul of clauses 2.25 and 5.6.
The company also worries that such apps undermine the integrity of the App Store by cluttering it with alternative storefronts. As one source described it to me, some of these discovery apps create a scenario that’s similar to walking into Nordstrom and seeing a Walmart inside. I’ve also heard that these apps are somehow degrading or complicating Apple’s integration of Chomp, the app search and discovery company it acquired earlier last year. But I haven’t yet been able to confirm that.
So Apple’s removal of AppGratis is basically a compliance action.
Apple has declined to comment further on the AppGratis ejection.