App Store Scams Need to End

Last week the FlickType developer sued Apple for, among other reasons, failing to police App Store scams. I think Apple could do a better job at this. I’ve heard from several app developer friends bemoan the existence of copycat apps made to confuse their consumers and steal the sales. Most recently, John Gruber covered this with the Widgetsmith rip-off.

Apple hasn’t said anything about this publicly, but since they insist on an approval process for apps, it seems only fair that they check to make sure an app is not shamelessly ripping off someone else before they approve it. This isn’t one of those things where there are competing interests in good faith. These copycat apps aren’t an attempt to make a competing product. They are attempts to confuse the customer to buy the wrong thing and take away sales from the developer that made the thing in the first place. It’s been going on for years, and I think it is time for Apple to get better at this.