Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is fighting wars on so many fronts, it’s difficult to keep track of all the battles. It’s difficult too, to determine what war stories are of significance to investors, and what only matters in the office corridors of Cupertino’s most famous business, or to the RSS-obsessed Apple newshounds.
Here’s a look at a developing offensive that matters for all involved.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) vs App Store Cheaters
As Mike Shields of AdWeek detailed, although Apple has waged a prolonged campaign for meritocracy in their App Store, a small minority of vendors are soliciting developers, whispering that it’s possible to buy yourself to the top of the App pyramid.
For their part, developers are largely nonplussed, treating invitations like the Nigerian scams they are.
Dwelling outside of the shadows, however, are companies like SafeRankPro.com that essentially guarantee favorable reviews.
As Shields writes, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) doesn’t usually take kindly to attempts to game the system. The company “cracked down on rougue developers offering gamers free lives or game currency in exchange for downloading apps.”
The company’s algorithm for App Store rankings is private, but that hasn’t stopped the beginnings of gestation on the ranking-boosting front.
Consider Chartboost. The company has [Shields' words] “emerged as a mobile app marketing alternative centered on old fashioned barter. It’s app developer customers can cross promote each other’s apps via Chartboost’s tech.”
Is such a utility immoral? Should it exist in the back-alley underbelly of the internet? Is it perfectly fine, well-suited for the whitewashed sanitary hum of the App Store?
The answer that question, ultimately, lies with the arbiter of justice and fairness within the App Store universe: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Regardless of what judge Tim Cook and his boardroom jury rule, they must rule quickly and decisively on any and all attempts to put forth anything other than the people’s candidates as winners.
A crackdown and judicious policing are imperative. This issue, and related issues, are not mere matters of black hat sorcery and digital bad behavior, rather such efforts fire a poisoned arrow at the heart of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) credibility and perceived position as eternally above the fray.
The perception that they are tolerant of any attempt to game their system and upset the moral order of their brushed steel and tech-as-art world would be very damaging indeed.