Pulled from Apple’s App Store, does AppGratis have a future?

Apr 8, 2013
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You’d think with $13.5 Million in the bank, everything was going the way AppGratis wanted it to. The App recommendation company announced 10 Million users back in February just weeks after a massive fundraising with Iris Capital; however, news was buzzing this week after Pocketgamer announced that Apple had pulled AppGratis from the App Store. As mentioned in the article, this comes a year after App Store clone AppShopper was pulled from the App Store – at the time Dawlat responded by saying that Apple was looking for “the highest quality” possible.

Too big to fail? Guess not.

In the same February blog post in which AppGratis announced 10 million users, it also announced that it was now able to generate 1 Million + downloads for “app partners” i.e. clients, and, from what one source told me, AppGratis had already had a few $1 Million+ revenue days from such transactions. This may very well have been what sparked Apple’s intrigue in AppGratis. So far, CEO Simon Dawlat, who isn’t usually shy with the press, hasn’t commented on the matter. His Twitter account @VirtualGoodz, the company’s @AppGratis, the company blog and all other forms of communication have come up cold since April 4th – likely around the time when the company heard their app would be pulled.

Previous events like this would suggest that AppGratis will need to update its App in order to get re-approved in the App Store, and it will still maintain those 10 Million users they already had, so I wouldn’t count them out of the game so soon. AppGratis doesn’t have anywhere to go outside of App Recommendation, and a functioning App is the only way to keep that business scalable, so I highly expect to see them pushing to get the app back in the App Store ASAP.

Should other be afraid?

While there are several other companies targeting the same type of business – AppTurbo, Appsfire, etc. – they aren’t all feeling Apple’s unexplained wrath right now. And while people like Appsfire CEO Ouriel Ohayon may be saying to themselves, and to others “we don’t compare” to AppGratis, there’s no doubt that any and all App Recommendation services are dotting their i’s and crossing their hearts to make sure Apple’s sights aren’t set on them.

I wouldn’t count AppGratis out just yet, though I think it’s going to be a tough couple of weeks while they try to find a way to get back into the store, which is definitely priority one right now, even if it means stripping down the App or adding on useless features like geolocalization and such. After that, they can decide whether they wan to continue playing Apple’s game, or whether they need to find another way to build things up.

Photo courtesy of our friends at TheNextWeb – thanks!