Apple Settles Developer Lawsuit over App Store Moderation and Scams

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Sep 02, 2022

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The FlickType developer alleged multiple rejections pointed towards unfair treatment by the tech giant.

Settlement Reached

App developer Kosta Eleftheriou has settled his lawsuit against Apple, which claimed that the company unfairly restricted him from distributing his app. 

Eleftheriou, who has gained some popularity as an Apple critic, filed the complaint in March 2021 before the California Supreme Court. It received the green light in January this year.

According to the lawsuit, the iPhone maker harnessed its monopoly power to block competing developers through “exploitative fees and selective application of opaque and unreasonable constraints.”

Proceedings took place over court calls with a judge up to this spring. Court dockets show that a request to dismiss the lawsuit was filed on July 21st after the parties reached an agreement. Neither Apple nor Eleftheriou have disclosed details of the settlement.

Sunk Profits

Eleftheriou’s lawsuit claimed that the company refused to let his Apple Watch keyboard app, FlickType, on the App Store. Even though the tech giant claimed that his app provided a “poor user experience”, it approved competitor apps with a FlickType integrated version. Following the rejections, scammers targeted his app, leading to heavy revenue loss. 

The developer said that when the app was eventually approved, it saw a massive revenue drop, from $130,000 in the first month to $20,000, with App Store users preferring higher-rated alternatives.

Subsequently, Eleftheriou contributed to news stories involving App Store scams. They include the iOS VPN service that managed to clear $5 million a year from unsuspecting users and a cryptocurrency wallet that defrauded a user of 17.1 bitcoin, worth nearly $600,000.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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