As reported yesterday in the blog, a recent AppStore scandal has ended up with Molinker expelled by Apple. The Chinese developer has been accused of pumping AppStore ratings, allegedly giving five star reviews to their own apps. Molinker would have used the fifty promocodes to write these reviews in the US Store, which would explain why they never got more than 60 five star reviews.
This weekend iphoneography.com
with made this concerns public and with the help of user SCW
contacted Phil Schiller to warn about this developer's practice. You can read the full email sent to Apple here
These allegations are devastating for Molinker and since there has been no official statement from Apple or developer about the case, I decided to contact them directly. I felt the need to give the chance to Molinker to explain what happened but also to ask how apps sold by this company are going to be supported once the firm is not present in the AppStore.
This is the email that I received from Ma Kun, which figures as owner of Molinker's website domain.
Thank you for your message about it.
We got email from Apple yesterday [Sunday 6th] which told us our contract is changed to pending status.
Actually, we do not know what's wrong so far. We had contacted Apple for such sudden changes, hope we can get quick response and actions from Apple.
Thank you for your support !
In this email Ma doesn't acknowledge allegations against them, nor they have been expelled from the AppStore. I have emailed him back for further clarification and to give them the chance to explain their view in this conflict.
Molinker is a prolific developer that has published popular applications featured in the AppStore, which are handpicked by Apple. Some of their apps in the Photography category have strong similitude
with other top 25 apps.
In August MobileCrunch
exposed a PR firm with top tier publishers portfolio, who included posting positive reviews in the AppStore within their marketing services. PCWorld
has echoed unethical practices of developers rating low their competitors.
UPDATE 8/12/09 Many blogs are mentioning the story
UPDATE 9/12/09 Here
is a thank you note and all the mentions