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AppGratis CEO brands Apple ‘absolutely crazy’

AppGratis CEO Simon Dawalt has hit back at his company’s recent culling from the iOS App Store, branding Apple ‘absolutely crazy’.

Still shocked by the free apps supplier AppGratis being kicked off the App Store for particularly vague reasons, Dawalt has issued a statement detailing where he and the company stand, and continuing to express his surprise at how his service, which boasts around 12 million iOS users, has been deemed to fall foul of Apple’s stringent rules overnight.

Describing Apple’s move as an “absolutely crazy situation,” Dawalt has suggested that the iPad mini and iPhone 5 manufacturer has been “very detached” considering the severity of the move, with the 45 person strong company AppGratis now considering how it will adapt to survive.

“Last Friday, a few days after Apple had approved our latest iPad version, a new App Review team member named R., who no one on my team had ever had contact with before, came pretty much out of the blue and after trying to call me three times without being able to get hold of me (I was on a plane), decided to pull out our apps because of guideline 2.25 and also – re-gasp! – because of guideline 5.6, stating that: ‘Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind’” Dawalt said in his official statement.

He added: “Yet another surprise for us since we only send one “system notification” a day to our users, coming in the form of a generic, opt-in only “Today’s deal is here!” message, which is precisely how Apple recommends developers to use its push notification service.”

The AppGratis CEO went on to add: “Initially, I thought we’d been caught in an internal communication accident and not the victim of a supposed “ban on third-party apps.” We checked the apps of our competitors, all of them were available for download.

“All the lights had been green for the past few months with Apple, so it seemed very unlikely that such a company would change its mind pretty much overnight, in what looks today like an extremely volatile action.

“I asked how he and his team could have possibly changed their minds overnight, pretty much pulling the plug on a 45-person company. He seemed very detached regarding the gravity of the situation, and was unable to let me know on what specifics these decisions had been made.

Despite the high-profile setback, Dewalt has reassured fans and users of the AppGratis apps that all is not over for the company that offers free daily applications for millions of users.

“Even if our iOS apps are momentarily unavailable, your app recommendation service, AppGratis, is very much up and running,” Dewalt said in his open blog post. “If you’re part of the 12 million lucky people to have downloaded our app before last Friday, know that it will keep updating everyday with new free apps and cool discounts. So will our website, and so will our daily newsletter.”

He added: “Our iOS apps may have been unavailable now for a few days, but at the same time, a few million free apps have been downloaded through AppGratis since last Friday. So for now, it’s business as usual in AppGratis’s world.”

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