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Apple would routinely put its own mobile apps at the top of the search results in the App Store. This also puts itself above the competition, with which it gains the upper hand in a marketplace that annually sells 50 billion dollars.

Apple apps are at the top of more than 60 percent of basic searches, according to The Wall Street Journal‘s analysis. These include searches such as maps. Apps that generate revenue through subscriptions or sales are at the top in 95 percent of the searches related to the apps.

According to the newspaper, the company therefore keeps its apps to a different standard than that of other developers. Developers are told that downloads, user reviews and ratings are factors that influence search results. However, more than 20 of Apple’s own apps are pre-installed on iPhones and are kept away from reviews and ratings.

Reaction Apple

The App Store owner himself says that it gives his products no advantage over others in the App Store. The company also conducted its own tests after the Wall Street Journal asked the company questions. Some searches gave other results, in which the own apps were not at the top, according to a spokesman.

The company further proposes to use an algorithm that uses machine learning, as well as user preferences in the past. Wherever an app is located, it fluctuates. A total of 42 factors are used to determine where apps will be placed. However, Apple keeps the formula a secret.

The search results are important for an app. According to the iPhone manufacturer itself, searches account for up to 65 percent of all app downloads.


However, there has been criticism of Apple and the App Store of competing companies for some time. For example, two developers are suing the company because Apple is said to have a monopoly on the distribution of apps in the App Store.

Spotify has also complained about the company. It did so in March in Europe by lodging a complaint with the European Commission. According to Spotify, the iPhone manufacturer makes it difficult for competing subscription services to sell themselves in the App Store. Apple denies this.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.