“AppGratis gives developers an estimate of where in Apple’s App Store rankings an App can land based on how much the developer is willing to pay, according to a document from the company’s pitch that a source in the developer community sent us,” Steve Kovach reports for Business Insider. “For example, this document shows AppGratis estimates a ~$100,000 buy will land an app in the top five slot in the US version of the App Store.”

“This clashes with the statement AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat gave TechCrunch yesterday,” Kovach reports. “Based on the document, it’s clear that AppGratis was using App Store rankings as bait to attract developers with deep pockets. Several developers told us last week that AppGratis attracts money this way, but we didn’t have proof until now.”

Kovach reports, “As former OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter wrote in a guest post on AllThingsD last week, App Store rankings are very important to Apple and the company does its best to keep them as fair and democratic as possible. Apps like AppGratis can artificially inflate rankings if developers pay enough to get promoted, something Apple works very hard to prevent. It’s also likely one of the reasons why Apple is reportedly cracking down on apps like AppGratis, removing them from the App Store so they won’t continue to taint rankings.

Read more – and see the leaked document – in the full article here.

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