The “H1 2021 Delisted Mobile Apps Report” from Pixalate shows that more than 813,000 apps were delisted in the first half of 2021 across the Google Play Store and Apple App Store with more than 86% of these apps targeting children age 12 and under.
According to the report (via VentureBeat), which analyzed more than 5 million mobile apps across Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store, these applications had over 21 million consumer reviews on the App Store prior to delisting.
The apps’ delisting could be caused by various factors, including an app store policy breach or the developer’s withdrawal.
Of potential concern to advertisers and consumers alike, these apps can remain installed on a device even after the app has been removed from the app store. If an app were removed due to an app store policy violation, there is an increased risk to consumer privacy and security, as well as brand safety for advertisers.
The Delisted Mobile App Report also shows that 83% of apps delisted in the period had either no address listed (78%) or no identifiable address (5%).
For the Google Play Store, it gets a bit more complicated as 66% of delisted apps had at least one “dangerous permission.” For example, 27% of them had access to GPS coordinates and 19% could access the camera.
Here are the 20 most popular apps before being taken down from the App Store:
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Since the Epic vs. Apple court case took place a few months ago, the Cupertino company said that it would be bad to let other companies and developers sideload apps on the iPhone or even have competing app stores.
But it didn’t take long for people to start exposing scam apps on the App Store. In February, a developer exposed multiple scam apps on the App Store, with some of them bringing in millions of dollars in revenue.
In June, for example, a Washington Post story showed that scam apps make up almost 2% of top-grossing apps in the App Store. In Apple’s defense, Tim Cook stated that the App Store is a “safe and trusted place:”
“We wanted to create a safe and trusted place for users to discover apps–and a means of providing a secure and supportive way for developers to develop, test and distribute apps to iPhone users globally.
Curation has always been one of the App Store’s chief features and sources of value for our users. We held a quality department store as a model: place where customers can find a great variety of options, but can feel confident that the selection is high-quality, reliable and current.”
However, more than just Apple approving a scam app, it also promoted multiple scam apps in an App Store story today in Australia. First highlighted by Twitter users Beau Nouvelle and Simeon, one of these apps named Jelly: Slime simulator, ASMR” costs $13 per week and basically doesn’t do anything.
After the media started covering this story, Apple apparently removed the feature article about “Slime Relaxations,” which was found here.