Apple has pulled Dash, an app that allows developer to search through an extensive amount of API documentation, from the Mac and iOS App Stores, claiming that developer Bogdan Popescu manipulated reviews to get more downloads.
According to a report from MacRumors, Popescu received a notification on Wednesday saying that his iTunes Connect account was being shut down for “fraudulent activity.” Initially, Apple declined to provide an explanation for why he received the notice, however after the story started making headlines, the company told Popescu that it was due to App Store review manipulation.
Even though Popescu has denied the claims multiple times, Apple appears to believe that some fraudulent activity took place. Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller sent an email to Matthew Eis (via 9to5Mac) regarding the removal of the app:
Thanks for your email about this app.
I did look into this situation when I read about it today. I am told this app was removed due to repeated fraudulent activity.
We often terminate developer accounts for ratings and review fraud, including actions designed to hurt other developers. This is a responsibility that we take very seriously, on behalf of all of our customers and developers.
I hope that you understand the importance of protecting the App Store from repeated fraudulent activity.
Popescu has denied any wrongdoing, but said that Apple informed him its decision is final and can’t be appealed.
Apple has been known to reverse course on App Store removals if it later determines that a mistake was made. Because Dash is no longer being sold by Apple, though, the controversial reviews are no longer visible.
For all developers who are still interested, you can still obtain Dash from the developer’s website.