Phil Schiller on App Store Knockoffs in 2012: ‘Is No One Reviewing These Apps?’

Knockoff apps have long been a problem in the App Store, with rip-off apps slipping previous reviewers to contend with genuine apps and steal sales, and back in 2012, Apples Phil Schiller was definitely furious when a fake app made it to the top of the App Store rankings, according to documents shared in the Epic v. Apple trial.
At the time, Temple Run was an extremely popular iOS special title, and in February 2012, a phony variation of Temple Run struck the App Store charts. Schiller sent out an e-mail to Eddy Cue, Greg Joswiak, Ron Okamoto, Phillip Shoemaker, Matt Fischer, Kevin Saul, and others on the App Store team. “What the hell is this????” he asked. “How does an obvious rip off of the extremely popular Temple Run, without any screenshots, garbage marketing text, and almost all 1-star rankings become the # 1 free app on the store?”
” Is nobody reviewing these apps? Is no one minding the shop?” he ranted on, before asking whether individuals kept in mind a talk about becoming the “Nordstrom” of App Stores in quality of service.

Phil Schiller in 2012, after a rip-off app hit # 1: “What the hell is this?????
… Is no one reviewing these Apps? Is no one minding the store?” pic.twitter.com/pNaozl6hv1
— Patrick McGee (@PatrickMcGee_) May 3, 2021
Since that 2012 tirade, App Store customers have actually continued to battle with knockoff apps that imitate real apps. A 2nd file highlighted Minecraft knockoffs that had made it into the App Store not when, but twice, and was consuming Minecraft sales, and in a third 2015 document, Schiller remarks that he “cant think” that Apple does not have automatic tools to discover and kick out rip-off apps.

At the time, Temple Run was an extremely popular iOS exclusive title, and in February 2012, a phony version of Temple Run hit the App Store charts. Schiller sent out an e-mail to Eddy Cue, Greg Joswiak, Ron Okamoto, Phillip Shoemaker, Matt Fischer, Kevin Saul, and others on the App Store team. “How does an apparent rip off of the very popular Temple Run, with no screenshots, garbage marketing text, and nearly all 1-star rankings become the # 1 totally free app on the store?”
Phil Schiller in 2012, after a rip-off app hit # 1: “What the hell is this?????
… Is no one reviewing these Apps?

Phil Schiller, 2015:
” [this fraud app] is an excellent example of the stuff we ought to have automated tools to find and kick out of the shop. I cant believe we still dont.” …” and PLEASE develop a system to automatically find low rated apps and purge them !!” pic.twitter.com/fhFvja7vXs
— Jacob Terry (@jerkob) May 5, 2021
Scam iOS apps that defraud users and mimic genuine apps continue to be a problem to this day. In recent months, designer Kosta Eleftheriou has required to speaking out versus fraud apps and highlighting significant scams in the App Store, bringing additional attention to the concern.

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