App Store ‘degenerate’: From a place with no ads to a place full of junk apps, going against the principles of Steve Jobs

Tram Ho

*The article is the opinion of Michael Gartenberg – former Senior Marketing Director of Apple.

It is a sad thing that the App Store is no longer the “jewel” in the ecosystem of the Apple technology giant. Today, it seems that Apple’s revenue maximization is more focused on serving customers or helping app developers grow.

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In the past, if you asked any senior Apple executive about what made the company so special, the answer would almost always be the ecosystem – the company’s (formerly) unique position in the industry. the creation of both hardware and software with tight integration. In the ’90s, one of the lessons Apple learned from Mac computers was that the best hardware and software wouldn’t matter without apps.

That used to mean that the developers, the people who make those apps, are the most important part of any platform. Steve Ballmer – former CEO of Microsoft was famous for shouting “Developer! Developer! Developer!” to confirm their role.

An app is something that leads users to a particular hardware platform and keeps them there.

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Photo: Internet.

The App Store was born to provide the iPhone’s hardware and operating system with thousands of applications created by programmers who run the application business. Apple has carefully selected the apps they feature prominently, making it accessible to the best developers and helping users find the best choice for their individual needs.

And Apple has made a lot of money when it comes to charging 30% for businesses with an annual income of more than $1 million and 15% for businesses with an annual income of less than $1 million.

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Currently, 15 years since the first iPhone was born, the App Store is gradually making developers and users bored.

The first problem many users face is the increasingly “intrusive” ads. The way Apple uses them in the App Store has become really annoying. For example, when they’re searching for an app, they’re bombarded with ads for other apps and sometimes even products that aren’t relevant to what they’re looking for.

Second, the App Store is home to all sorts of apps, many of which, according to Gartenberg, are junk apps. A recent good example is when gambling apps were suggested when some users searched for gambling addiction apps. Apple halted those ads last month after facing an outcry.

This is in stark contrast to what founder Steve Jobs once said in 2011. According to him, the absence of advertising is a prominent feature of Apple. “We make the products we want and we don’t want advertising.”

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Photo: Internet.

“Ironically, Apple is becoming what they used to mock,” Gartenberg said.

In addition, while Apple says it won’t approve fake apps, many developers say that many such apps still surface through ads in the App Store.

Last month, a game developer shared on Twitter about their app being plagiarized. After that article went viral, Apple suspended the fake app. Before that, Apple also had to settle a lawsuit related to this issue.

This is a disappointment to legitimate developers, who are paying to make sure their apps don’t get buried beneath other apps, including cloned apps that Apple claims. displayed in the ad.

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As an Apple stock holder, Gartenberg appreciates the company’s use of advertising to increase revenue because they are, after all, a for-profit business. But as a longtime Apple customer, what he regrets is that the days when the need for revenue did not overwhelm the need to serve Apple’s customers are over.

In 2010, Steve Jobs banned a lot of junk apps because they didn’t bring value to users and lowered the ecosystem. “It sounds like we’re control freaks,” he said, “but that’s because we’re so committed to our users and want to make sure they have a quality experience with our products.” .

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Photo: Internet.

In fact, it’s not just the App Store that is focusing on revenue over user experience. According to Gartenberg, when looking at any of the company’s new products, most people find them rather boring because there is no breakthrough element. For example, the iPhone 14 looks no different from the iPhone 13, and the iPhone 13 resembles the iPhone 12. Many new features are only available on the iPhone Pro, which has the highest price and profit margin.

Last month, as the world braced for a recession, Apple raised the prices of some of its most popular services like Apple TV+ and Apple Music.

According to Gartenberg, Apple’s real problem right now is that they no longer seem to be the only quality option for users. Hardware innovations or exclusive applications, all of which can be found in other vendors in the market. The biggest challenge these businesses face is not facing technology, but Apple’s massive marketing machine.

Source: BI

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