Apple‘s App Store has long been a subject of curiosity and scrutiny, with developers and users alike wondering about the inner workings of the platform. In a surprising move, Apple has finally released [PDF version] its first-ever transparency report for the App Store, shedding light on various aspects of the popular marketplace. The report, which can be found on Apple’s official website, spans two comprehensive pages and offers intriguing insights into the store’s operations. Perhaps the most striking revelation is the staggering number of apps present on the App Store, standing at a whopping 1,783,232 as of 2022.
The disclosure, initially brought to attention by 9to5Mac and later reported by The Verge, encompasses a wide range of statistics. Notably, Apple reviewed an astounding 6,101,913 app submissions last year, an indication of the immense volume of content flowing into the store. However, it is important to note that these submissions encompass not only new app releases but also updates to existing applications. Regrettably, a considerable portion of these submissions—1,679,694 to be exact—failed to meet Apple’s stringent standards and consequently faced rejection.
Delving deeper into the reasons behind these rejections, it becomes evident that Apple’s performance guidelines played a significant role. Surprisingly, over 1 million submissions fell short of the prescribed benchmarks, rendering them ineligible for inclusion in the App Store. Additionally, 441,972 submissions were rejected for legal reasons, highlighting Apple’s commitment to ensuring compliance and protecting its user base.
App removals also featured prominently in the transparency report, with 186,195 apps being pulled from the App Store throughout 2022. The report further reveals that Apple received 1,474 takedown requests during this period, with an overwhelming majority of 1,435 originating from mainland China. India followed at a considerable distance with just 14 requests. Responding to the removal appeals, Apple dealt with 5,484 cases related to apps removed from the Chinese App Store. Encouragingly, 169 apps were successfully reinstated following successful appeals, demonstrating the company’s willingness to rectify erroneous decisions.
In addition to these intriguing statistics, the transparency report unveils the astounding magnitude of app downloads on Apple devices. On average, users of iPhones, iPads, and Macs downloaded an astonishing 747,873,877 apps each week in 2022. This figure is certainly impressive, but it is worth noting that users also redownloaded an average of 1,539,274,266 apps weekly, hinting at the dynamic nature of app usage and the ever-evolving preferences of Apple’s user base.
The publication of the App Store transparency report comes as a result of a settlement reached between Apple and App Store developers in 2021. As part of this agreement, Apple committed to sharing meaningful statistics about the app review process, deactivations of customer and developer accounts, objective data concerning search queries and results, and the number of apps removed from the store. By embracing transparency, Apple aims to foster trust, enhance developer relationships, and provide users with valuable insights into the inner workings of its popular marketplace.
While this initial transparency report offers a glimpse into the vast ecosystem of the App Store, it also raises intriguing questions about the future. As Apple continues to refine its review process and maintain strict guidelines, developers will undoubtedly strive to meet and surpass these requirements. Simultaneously, users can anticipate an even greater variety of high-quality applications available for their Apple devices. The App Store’s transparency report marks a significant step forward in demystifying this digital bazaar, fostering a better understanding of its operations, and setting the stage for a more informed and engaged community of developers and users.