Is Apple Promoting Its Own Apps in the Top Charts of iPhone’s App Store?

14 December 2015

Dublin: If we take a look at the iPhone’s app store, it looks like Apple is using the Top Charts section of the iPhone’s app store to promote its own applications by listing the apps like Keynote, Numbers, Pages, iTunes U and iMovie in the higher positions than they would rank normally. When the Top Chart is viewed on iPhone, the above mentioned apps are showing up fraternized with the top 20 free apps on iPhone. But when it is viewed on the desktop version of the app store, either they are not present at all or they are in different positions.

Of course, this discrepancy could be related to a bug in the Apple’s App Store ranking algorithm. But if that is the case, it’s definitely a persistent one; it doesn’t look like it affects the rankings of other top applications (besides Apple’s), i.e. the Facebook Messenger app still resides at the top of the App Store followed by a new app called Acapella, then comes YouTube and then the Facebook.

Top Chart Listing Varies from Device to Device!

  • As said above, it could be because of the bug in the App Store ranking algorithm. If we take a look at the desktop version of the store, a game called Twist is ranked higher when compared to Instagram and Snapchat apps. But on iPhone 6s version of the App Store, the Twist app shows up immediately after Instagram and Snapchat even when both the charts ( mobile and desktop version) are viewed at the same time.
  • An interesting fact to be noted is that, the top free chart listings seem to vary from one device to the other. For instance, if you just compare the rankings of the apps between iPhone 5s and iPhone 6s, we can see two different versions of the App Store’s Top Charts even though both the phones are running the latest iOS versions and both are viewed at the same time.
  •  On both 5s and 6s, iMovie app has ranked number 3. But Pages app was on number 7 on 5s whereas it was on number 6 on iPhone 6s. ‘Numbers’ app was in 9th position on 5s but it was showing up 10th on 6s. Also, iTunes U was in 11th position on 5s but it was on 13th position on 6s.

According to the initial findings of Apple, the apps were showing up in the random positions on the App Store app on iPhone. Sometimes, the apps would still remain on the Top Charts even if they were installed on the user’s device.  This has been alerted to the company and it has been noticed that company’s own ranking data was not matching with that appearing in the App Store. But without an official confirmation, we can’t just chalk this up as Apple’s manual manipulation of Top Charts rankings. It could also be a bug.

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