Tuesday, May 23, 2023

2022 App Store Transparency Report

Apple (MacRumors):

Today, Apple announced that in 2022, the App Store prevented over $2 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions, and rejected nearly 1.7 million app submissions for failing to meet the App Store’s high standards for privacy, security, and content.


In 2021, Apple terminated over 802,000 developer accounts for potentially fraudulent activity. In 2022, that number declined to 428,000 thanks in part to new methods and protocols that allow the App Store to prevent the creation of potentially fraudulent accounts. Additionally, nearly 105,000 Apple Developer Program enrollments were rejected for suspected fraudulent activities, preventing these bad actors from submitting apps to the App Store.


In the last 30 days alone, Apple blocked close to 3.9 million attempts to install or launch apps distributed illicitly through the Developer Enterprise Program, which allows large organizations to deploy internal apps for use by employees.

Nick Heer:

Apple also says it stopped “more than one” app that “the potential” for credential theft. But how many is that? Is it two? Is it fifty? A bigger number would be more fitting for the apparent objective of this kind of report — to explain why iOS software distribution ought to be permitted only through the Apple-administered App Store instead of third-party stores — so the use of “more than one” is conspicuous.


Again, the unspoken rationale for these news releases — which Apple started publishing around the time European regulators began looking into its App Store-only iOS software distribution policy — is that Apple is uniquely suited to protecting its users from fraud and abuse. But it has also repeatedly struggled with preventing pretty obvious scams. I do not think its failure to achieve a perfect success rate is an indication that App Store protections are ineffective, but the company’s own statistics are also not necessarily painting a complete picture.

The more interesting numbers would be the false positives—how many apps were incorrectly rejected and how many developers gave up because of such rejections—and the false negatives—how many bad apps were not caught until after they were in the store or are still in the store.

Rob Jonson:

Chatter was rejected about 8 times for spam before finally being accepted with this REDACTION


Apple says it prevented over $2 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions. And this is only the transactions that got caught. How about the transactions that didn’t get caught? How much did they cost victims, who trusted the App Store? At Apple’s scale, even with 99% accuracy there would be a lot of mistakes.

James Thomson:

I think it says something about the scale of the App Store that Apple terminates more than a thousand developer accounts for fraud, per day.

Jeff Johnson:

It says the App Store is very profitable for scammers, otherwise they wouldn’t try so hard and so much.

Juli Clover (PDF, data, Hacker News, Slashdot):

Apple today published an inaugural App Store Transparency Report, something that the company agreed to provide to developers as part of a 2021 lawsuit settlement.


Developers appealed 18,412 app removals in total, and Apple restored just 616 apps. Apple says that apps that are appealed were typically pulled from the App Store for fraud or illegality, which is why the rejected appeal number is so high.


There are 36,974,015 registered developers, and in 2022, Apple terminated 428,487 developer accounts. According to Apple, developers are removed from the Apple Developer Program “for a number of reasons,” but most commonly because of accounts that are connected with other terminated developer accounts. 3,338 developers appealed their App Store bans, and Apple reinstated just 159 accounts.

Ryan Jones:

26% of app submissions are rejected (1.6 of 6.1M)

They say how many submissions were approved after rejection, but because there are multiple submissions per app we don’t know how many apps were eventually approved.

Basically, people go to the App Store wanting to download 1 specific app = No more browsing

And they redownload 2x as often as download = must be the major apps mostly, like Fb, Ig, banks, etc


2 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

"There are 36,974,015 registered developers, and in 2022, Apple terminated 428,487 developer accounts."

Correct me if I'm wrong but I would tend to believe that:
- The "terminated developer accounts" are very probably accounts with a paid subscription (other it would not be possible to distribute apps on the App Stores).
- The "registered developers" include all kinds of developer accounts (paid subscription, never subscribed or did not renew).

So the 36M number looks like some bullshit in this context.

Old Unix Geek

@someone -- yes, I think that they want to goose the numbers of developers.

In fact, you're a "developer" if you're a manager who buys an account for his company. You're also a "developer" if you build a PhoneGap application. And you're a "developer" if you are a test or release "engineer". But you're also a "developer" if you are a hobbyist playing with LISP on the iPhone. You're also a "developer" if you're doing a class on mobile software. You're even a "developer" if you get yourself a copy of XCode to install some program which came with source code you found online. And multiple "developers" might actually be a single person. Lots of developers.

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