How Apple Could Fight The Bots, Scams And Other App Store Junk


No platform is perfect. Not even Apple’s. Over the last few weeks, there has been a flood of news about malfeasance in the app store from download bots to credit card scams to address-book sharing. I broke a few stories about app-related credit card fraud originating from Taobao, the eBay of China, and automated bots that download apps thousands of times to drive them up the charts. Then The New York Times and BusinessWeek came in with their own takes this week.

This puts the heat on Apple to further regulate the store, which is long overdue. Though to be fair, I still think that the iOS platform is more egalitarian than Facebook, which lends itself to a winner-take-all dynamic. iOS is also more lucrative per user than Android or Facebook, according to data from analytics provider Flurry and conversations I’ve had with top-tier developers like EA Popcap.

Anyway, here are a few solutions: