Earlier this week we reported on the news that AppGratis’ app was unexpectedly removed from the Apple App Store during the weekend, due to infringing on a few of Apple’s quite generic rules regarding applications pushing notifications that are paid by advertisers, as well as apps that are similar to the app store. AppGratis was first given the heads up last Friday that the app would be pulled during the weekend.The news was followed up by a confirmation in Venturebeat that quoted one Apple employee as saying that AppGratis is “Welcome to Resubmit,” but that it would not likely be accepted in any form similar to its present state – i.e: an App-promotion service.
Today AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat responded to the news on AppGratis’ blog, after having gone silent since the news first broke. In the blog post he states that AppGratis has had a long and complicated relationship with the Apple App Store, having had multiple iterations in the past be pulled for spamming notifications, not adding value, and just being an alternative App Store. In the article, Dawlat talks about how they see themselves more as a media review app site that chooses the best apps to review than an actual AppStore, but it seems Apple has long been on the fence about that.
In addition, Dawlat, who says he got off a 12-hour flight to Sao Paolo before discovering his app had been pulled mid-flight, says that he is shocked, given that their iPad app was approved on April 4th, just 24 hours before they received notice that their iPhone app would be pulled. In the article, Dawlat assures their 12 million users that they will continue to receive deals each day from AppGratis – there’s nothing Apple can do to prevent that – and they will continue to push to get the App back in the store; however, even Dawlat admits that the review team has been “very detached” in explaining why the App was pulled, citing rules 2.25 and 5.6 in the guidelines – mimicking the App Store and pushing promotions as notifications.
While Dawlat assures investors, users, and journalists that AppGratis will continue to pursue their goal, it’s hard to imagine where they will go from here. They certainly have a few weeks, if not months of red alert development time to get the App to a state that will be acceptable both to them and Apple.