Apple has denied the allegations alleging bias for its own applications in the search results of the App Store, which gives the applications a higher ranking than competitors. A report by The Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday that in more than 60 percent of basic searches in the App Store, it discovered that Apple's native applications ranked first. It was also noted that Apple applications that help generate revenue through subscriptions and purchases, including Apple Music and Books, first appeared in 95 percent of searches related to those applications. However, the company said in a statement to the newspaper that it does not give advantage to its own developments over others in the App Store.
The Wall Street Journal report underlines that mastering its own applications gives Apple an advantage in the App Store that generates $ 50 billion (Rs. 345,053 rupees) in annual expenses. Some of the search queries, including "music," "maps," and "movies," show how Apple applications take first place in the App Store. This includes searches for terms such as "books" and "maps" that have associated applications such as Kindle and Google Maps that are much more popular than the results of Apple's applications for Books and Apple Maps in most cases.
Apple told The Wall Street Journal that it has a total of 42 factors that it considers when ranking search results. However, the company did not reveal any details about the search algorithms it uses.
Similarly, Apple tells developers that search results in the App Store are influenced by downloads, user comments and ratings. A guide has also been provided to optimize the discovery of applications on the Apple developer site that lists all the main organic ways to improve the ranking of application search results.
"Apple customers have a very strong connection to our products and many of them use search as a way to find and open their applications," the company said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. "The use of this client is the reason why Apple has strong search rankings, and it is the same reason that Uber, Microsoft and many others also have high rankings."
However, some developers have observed Apple's favorable behavior. Ian Small, the general manager of Audiobooks.com, the application that led "audiobook" searches in the App Store for almost two years, noted that the position changed shortly after the launch of Apple Books that supports audiobooks natively.
Small told The Wall Street Journal that the change was "literally overnight" and caused a 25 percent decrease in daily downloads of Audiobooks.com applications. The application at that time had 35,000 customer comments and a 4.8 in the 5-star ranking of the App Store, as mentioned in the report.
In March, Spotify filed an antitrust complaint in Europe against Apple, claiming that the iPhone manufacturer is unfair Practices limit rivals to be marketed in the App Store. Apple, however, denied the accusation.
In addition to the complaint filed by Spotify, the US Supreme Court in May allowed an antitrust lawsuit accusing Apple of forcing consumers to buy applications exclusively from the App Store. Two application developers also sued the company separately for anti-competitive behavior through the App Store that restricts users to download applications from only one source.