In a stunning display of kicking a man while he’s down, Apple decided today to kill off AppGratis’ ability to send push notifications to their 12 million users. Earlier this month Apple stunned the iPhone app developer community by deleting AppGratis, a popular iOS app discovery platform from the iTunes app store. Existing users of the app were unaffected by the removal of the app from iTunes, but now the user experience has been hobbled by Apple revoking push notification privileges.
According to a news report by TechCrunch, AppGratis has collected almost 1 million signatures to petition Apple to reinstate their iPhone app into the the iTunes marketplace. The French start-up recently raised over $13 million from prominent Venture Capital firms and was generating over $1 million per month in revenues. Needless to say, AppGratis is facing a very uncertain future. The removal of push notifications from the app leaves the company with few options to effectively engage with their remaining audience and even shakier prospects for future growth.
As a San Diego mobile app developer my sympathies are with AppGratis and their talented start-up team. Apple has essentially destroyed this company with impunity and struck fear into the hearts of app developers everywhere. This PR blunder on Apple’s side paints the company as a heartless bully, able to beat-up on app developers at will with little to no warning. Could the Android option be the solution? Only time will tell.Tags: app store, app store removal, AppGratis, iPhone app developer, iphone apps, itunes app store, push notifications, techcrunch