Parmy Olson, writing for Forbes:
App Gratis had amassed roughly 12 million users on iOS by then, but it also walked a fine line between expanding, and following two of Apple’s guidelines for app developers:
- That they don’t promote apps in a similar or confusing way to the App Store.
- That they provide “lasting entertainment value,” as opposed to being “not very useful, unique, [and] are simply web sites bundled as Apps.”
There has been a lot of press about this event. The fact of the matter is that AppGratis's business model--at best--skirted Apple's guidelines and--at worst--violated them. Apple's decision makes sense when you consider their goal of making the App Store a beautiful walled garden. Apple doesn't want the App Store rankings to be manipulated by developers who pay for downloads. AppGratis, unfortunately, is predicated on the idea that developers can pay to get their app out to many people for free (i.e. 'gratis'), which ran afoul of Apple's guidlines.