AppGratis, the app discovery tool banned by Apple last week, lured developers with the promise of helping them achieve top positions in Apple’s App Store charts, according to a document seen by Business Insider.
The document details charges to developers for inclusion in AppGratis and tabulates those charges according to desired chart position. Business Insider explained that the ‘document shows AppGratis estimates a ~$100,000 buy will land an app in the top five slot in the US version of the App Store.’
Yesterday, AppGratis CEO, Simon Dawlat provided a statement to TechCrunch which denied AppGratis was in the business of manipulating chart rankings.
Reaching the the top of any App Store is a simple and logical equation.
But we’re not in this business.
We’re in in the business of helping the end users discover new apps, and to serve this mission, we’re playing the long run. We’re building a community. We’ve never been in the business of gaming the top charts or anything.
In an email to Businesss Insider, Dawlat claimed ‘I believe the document you got shows install, ranking and CPI estimates for AppGratis on a per-country basis.’ Business Insider reported that it had been told by developers last week that AppGratis was using chart rankings ‘as bait to attract developers with deep pockets.’
Apple pulled AppGratis from the AppStore last week in what AllThingsD claimed was the first casualty of a crackdown on infringement’s of the company’s Store policy. AllThingsD said it had been ‘told that Apple feels that these apps threaten the legitimacy of the App Store charts by providing a way for developers to spend their way to a high ranking.’