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The iPhone bribery scandal
Apple has banned Molinker, one of the largest iPhone app developers, for bribing customers. Are greedy partners rotting Apple's reputation?
An iPhone.
An iPhone.
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pple has banned Chinese software developer Molinker from selling more than 1,000 of its iPhone applications on Apple's online iTunes store. Apple took action after learning that Molinker was giving users the apps free in exchange for five-star feedback reviews, thus artificially boosting the profile for their products, many of which are cheap knockoffs of other apps. Is Apple losing control?

Apple has no one to blame but itself: The company brought this on its own head, says Sarah Perez on ReadWriteWeb. Given that the iTunes store is selling more than 100,000 apps, developers have had to resort to ever-more “unscrupulous” tricks to “make sure their apps get noticed.” The only solution is a “trustworthy rating system.” Get working on it, Apple.
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Apple did the right thing: “Apple, good on ya!” says Zack Urlocker in PC World. The firm should be applauded for taking the “extreme step” of banning a developer from which it was undoubtedly making a lot of money. Companies such as Google should “do right by consumers” and crack down on their own “bogus review sites.”
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Now, what about all the other scammers? Molinker is hardly the only “spammerific” developer in the iTunes app store, says Phillip Elmer-DeWitt at CNNMoney’s Brainstorm Tech blog. “Legitimate developers” have long complained about these “shadowy” companies. It’s time for Apple to get its “store in order” so that iPhone users can get straight to the “apps that are worth buying.”
Is Apple cleaning up the App Store?

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