Phil Schiller expressed concern over scam apps as early as 2012

in General Discussion edited May 2021
Apple's Phil Schiller ranted about scam and knockoff apps on the App Store as early as 2012, per documents revealed in the Epic Games v. Apple trial.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple

In February 2012, Schiller sent out a furious email to the App Store team -- which included Greg Joswiak, Eddy Cue, and Matt Fischer -- about an apparently fake version of Temple Run. At the time, Temple Run was among the most popular iOS games.

"What the hell is this????" Schiller asked. "How does an obvious rip off of the super popular Temple Run, with no screenshots, garbage marketing text, and almost all 1-star ratings become the #1 free app on the store?"

He continued by asking "is no one reviewing these apps? Is no one minding the store?" before calling the situation "insane."

At another point in 2012, Schiller brought several other apps to the attention of the app Store team, including a fake palm reading app and another app called "Hide My Fart," which Schiller said "should never have been approved."

The internal emails were revealed as part of Epic Games' opening presentation in its trial with Apple. The slide deck contained other communications from different Apple executives about the prevalence of scam apps on the App Store.

Low-quality, knockoff, or outright scammy apps do sometimes slip through the cracks and make it past Apple's App Review team. Earlier in 2021, vocal app developer Kosta Eleftheriou sued Apple over the alleged enablement of the app scams. Eleftheriou is known for highlighting several scam apps, including one that grosses $1 million a month.

According to a report from cybersecurity firm Avast, scam "fleeceware" apps cost App Store consumers more than $400 million. Other types of scams include knockoffs of established and popular apps.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,835member

    Wouldn’t ANY App Store share concern over the possibility of scam apps? 

    Especially when they are made quite poorly. 

    Thanks Apple for curating out obvious crap. 

    Oh wait... so Eucs point is that Apple needs to serve up obvious zero-effort utter crap? 

    Sorry Sweeney, but even wal mart has standards. And they won’t allow your wares in their store if you make total crap. 
  • Reply 2 of 3
    michelb76michelb76 Posts: 646member
    We feel you Phil. Too bad it's still going on. Shame on Apple.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Not sure why Epic thinks this helps their case. An email where Schiller expressed indifference about scam apps is what they needed, not one where he's upset that scam apps were getting through. The latter supports Apple's stance that the App Store is intended to enhance security.
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