Apple’s Absurd App Store Guidelines

Emre Barack Sokullu
2 min readOct 12, 2023

Apple App Store Review Guidelines 4.3 states:

4.3 Spam

Don’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app and provide the variations using in-app purchase. Also avoid piling on to a category that is already saturated; the App Store has enough fart, burp, flashlight, fortune telling, dating, drinking games, and Kama Sutra apps, etc. already. We will reject these apps unless they provide a unique, high-quality experience. Spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Apple Developer Program.

Who gets to decide that there are enough apps in certain categories, such as those dedicated to fart sounds, burps, flashlights, fortune telling, dating, drinking games, and the Kama Sutra? Why does Apple assume the position to determine who gets to participate in its platform and who does not?

While I can comprehend the rationale behind various other guidelines, the outright prohibition of entire app categories seems to be a monopolistic practice of selecting winners. The App Store does not embody a true marketplace, and iOS does not operate as an open platform.

Given this, iPhone users should be allowed to install apps outside of the App Store. I understand that this alternative was disallowed for security reasons, but the current policies are too restrictive, there’s a clear necessity to abolish such exclusionary guidelines.

With a user base exceeding one billion, the iPhone is unequivocally a global platform — a status that should be clearly defined and regulated by law. In this context, Apple doesn’t have the discretion to exercise discriminative practices without inviting scrutiny and opposition. On this note, I stand with Epic Games in their struggle, which, though mainly centered around Apple’s revenue cuts, resonates with similar themes of digital platform governance.

Moving forward, I’m committing to non-Apple products for my next digital purchases. Android, with its elegance through the right vendors like Samsung, and Linux, which allows me to explore powerful Nvidia GPUs on a Windows machine, offer robust alternatives to Apple. It’s a nod towards platforms that share a vision of equitable digital governance and user freedom.



Emre Barack Sokullu

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