Complaints in the App Store
Apple is known for paying a little more for products, but not being bothered with tracking, data collection and advertising afterwards. However, it is different in one place: in the App Store. Internal emails that have emerged in the Epic Games vs Apple case show that there was a fierce battle over advertising in the App Store. This discussion took place in February 2015 between Apple engineer David Neumann and Eric Friedman, responsible for fraud algorithms and risk. A year later, search ads did indeed appear in the App Store.
At the time, Neumann sent Friedman a link about an announcement that Google wanted to add commercials to the Play Store. “Man, I wish we could do this,” said Neumann. His colleague also thought paid promotions were a great idea and revealed that it had already been discussed several times. “Why don’t we just let them pay for a position?” Said Friedmann.
‘Tim is going to be difficult’
While both men it saw fit, they were afraid of being hissed back by Tim Cook: “The developers would love it. The problem is, Tim is telling the world that we make great products without exploiting users financially. Advertisements would not fit in at all. ”
After some more talking, the employees decided that the ads should not be in the rankings, but on the search and discover tab, because these are better places to discover apps. Apparently Tim Cook was eventually quickly persuaded, because Apple started advertising in October 2016. This may have to do with Apple’s decision to diversify its revenue streams so that the company is less dependent on iPhones. In any case, the decision to allow advertisements was very lucrative: in 2018, 1 billion dollars in sales were already made. And that revenue stream is only increasing: since this week, there is also a new, more prominent ad position in the search results of the App Store.
The lawsuit between Epic Games and Apple sometimes reveals surprising details. These are things that Apple would have liked to keep secret. You can read more about the case in our round-up.