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Apple settles lawsuit with developer who exposed App Store scam

App developer and former Pinterest engineer Kosta Eleftheriou became well known after exposing multiple issues with Apple’s App Store, including million-dollar scams by sketchy developers. Eleftheriou filed a lawsuit against Apple last year, but now the developer and company have reached an agreement to settle the lawsuit.

Kosta Eleftheriou vs. Apple

The case was filed with the California Supreme Court in Santa Clara County in March 2021 and was given the green light to proceed in January 2022.

As reported by TechCrunch, Apple and Eleftheriou participated in court calls with a judge and decided to dismiss the lawsuit. Unfortunately, the terms of the settlement remain unclear at this point, as neither the developer nor Apple has commented on the matter.

Considering that Eleftheriou was willing to dispute against Apple, it’s hard to imagine that the developer would accept terms that are completely favorable to the company. Over the past two years, Kosta Eleftheriou has revealed multiple scam apps available in Apple’s App Store. In some cases, these apps made millions of dollars even though they didn’t work as promised.

Eleftheriou has always tried to show that despite Apple’s claims that the App Store is a safe place, the company’s digital store has a lot of breaches via which malicious developers take advantage of and profit off of iOS users with fraudulent apps. The developer also exposed how many apps have fake reviews to make themselves look legitimate.

He also raised concerns about how easy it is for developers to release copies of other apps on the App Store. For those unfamiliar, Eleftheriou is the developer behind FlickType, a popular keyboard app for Apple Watch. Multiple paid, non-functional ripoffs of FlickType were released on the App Store, and Apple only removed them after Eleftheriou got some attention in the media.

The App Store has other problems

Since then, Apple has updated the App Store Guidelines with new rules against scam apps. The company has also re-added a “Report a Problem” button to the App Store, but there’s still much to be done. Back in February, developer Kevin Archer of the popular Authenticator app complained about how the iOS App Store had several “copycats” of his app, but Apple never did much about it.

While Apple doesn’t seem to be that concerned about developer complaints, this could have a major impact in the future as the U.S. Department of Justice has begun drafting an antitrust lawsuit against Apple. The lawsuit is expected to be centered on Apple’s anti-competitive practices, especially when it comes to the App Store.

According to a recent report, the DOJ is waiting for the final outcome of the Epic Games v. Apple case before proceeding with the lawsuit.

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