Subscriptions are a sustainable way to develop apps, where customers pay a monthly fee versus a one-off fee. In a way it makes sense as the monthly fee helps incentivize developers to keep their apps updated and also generates more money for them in the long run, which is why it wasn’t a surprise to see Apple try to encourage developers to adopt that model for iOS apps.


Unfortunately a report from TechCrunch had revealed that some apps were taking advantage of it and were scamming/tricking users into subscribing to apps that might not otherwise need a subscription, such as weather apps, QR code readers, and more. The good news is that it looks like Apple is actually doing something about it, at least according to a report from V3 where it appears that more than half of the apps that were named and shamed in the previous report have since disappeared from the App Store.

Apple has yet to officially comment on the report or addressed the allegations of scams, but the removal of these apps suggests that Apple is aware about it and has acted somewhat swiftly in dealing with it. Granted Apple should have taken care of it earlier, but given the sheer number of apps in the App Store, it’s not hard to imagine that sometimes certain scams can slip past them.

Apple’s guidelines actually state that it is illegal for such scams to exist and that apps found violating their guidelines will be removed. “Apps that attempt to trick users into purchasing a subscription under false pretenses or engage in bait-and-switch practices will be removed from the App Store and you may be removed from the Apple Developer Program.”

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