Apple's App Store sits about 1,000 applications lighter today, which represents about 1 percent of all apps. The reason? Apple discovered that a large iPhone developer was participating in a ratings scam, and so Apple removed the company's catalog of over 1,000 apps.
The company in question is Moliker Inc., who developed more than 1,000 titles, most of which were based on travel (such as Mobile Travel Guide). The company is accused of giving its own apps 5-star ratings to try to raise the average ratings and boost sales.
But the scam came crumbling down when one attentive user noticed a pattern in most of the reviews. Most of the apps had about 50 five-star rankings with poorly written reviews, which served as a tell-tale sign that the developer was probably using his allotment of 50 promocodes to create fake accounts and review his own apps. The user fired off an email to Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller, or promplty pulled all 1,011 apps from the App Store.
"Yes, this developer's apps have been removed from the App Store and their ratings no longer appear either," Schiller said.