Tripp Mickle of Wall Street Journal claims that Apple favors their apps unfairly in iOS App Store Search. Not only does Apple deny it, but AppleInsider's testing of devices associated with iCloud accounts seems to disprove claims.
Mike Wuerthele and Malcolm Owen for AppleInsider:
A Wall Street Journal report alleged on Tuesday that Apple's mobile apps "routinely appear first in search results in front of competitors in the App Store." Analysis of the claims Apple's apps appear in the top spot in more than "60% of basic searches," for example, for "Maps" or other simple terms, but do not detail what the other terms may be.
For subscription apps, such as Apple Music, they first appeared in 95% of searches for words within the same industry.
In AppleInsider his own testing, the Wall Street Journal results could not be replicated as described in the report. Using three devices with iCloud accounts associated with purchase history, we duplicated the generic terms that the Wall Street Journal said they used.
Using our three devices, apps other than Apple's apps filled the place below the search ad in 56 out of 60 of our searches, and two places below the search ad in 48 of the 56 searches that did not have an Apple app at the top.
This is a remarkable deviation from the claims in the post.
MacDailyNews Take: Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy, WSJ . What, Bloomberg bought "Chinese Spy Chips" News WSJ ?
Apple's statement on the case, verbatim:
We created the App Store to be a safe and reliable place for customers to discover and download apps, and a good business opportunity for all developers. App Store Search has only one goal – to get customers what they are looking for. We do it in a way that's fair to all developers, and we don't distribute our apps over any of the developers or competitors. Today, developers have many options for distributing their apps, which is why we work hard to make it easy, fair and a great opportunity for them to develop apps for our customers worldwide.
Apple customers have a very strong connection to our products, and many of them use Search as a way to find and open their apps. This customer use is why Apple has strong rankings in Search, and that's the same reason why Uber, Microsoft and so many others often also have high rankings. The search algorithm always changes when we strive to improve the ways our customers can find what they want and prevent fraud in the store, but our commitment to pursuing searches with the highest integrity and in a way that is fair to all developers will never change.