App Store annual report on P2B internal complaint-handling system

Provided pursuant to Article 11 of Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on Promoting Fairness and Transparency for Business Users of Online Intermediation Services (“P2B Regulation”)

Reporting period: 13 July 2021 – 12 July 2022

  • Total number of complaints filed: 64
  • Types of complaints: the P2B complaints received by Apple related to decisions to restrict or suspend distribution of apps from the platform or terminate developer accounts
  • Average time to process complaints submitted through the P2B complaint-handling system: 4.83 calendar days
  • Aggregated information regarding the outcome of the complaints:
    • The original restriction, suspension, or termination action was upheld in 60 of 64 cases.
    • Three developer accounts were reinstated after termination:
      • One developer account was reinstated after the developer provided information to clarify a previously identified issue and demonstrated its app and account were in compliance with the Apple Developer Program License Agreement, including the App Store Review Guidelines.
      • Another developer account was reinstated after the developer fixed an identified issue and demonstrated its app and account were in compliance with the Apple Developer Program License Agreement, including the App Store Review Guidelines.
      • A third developer account was reinstated and its app restored after submission of a detailed and satisfactory improvement plan to address App Store Review Guideline violations. The App Review team worked with the developer to ensure ongoing compliance with the approved improvement plan.
    • One app was restored to the platform after removal:
      • The developer submitted a detailed and satisfactory improvement plan to address App Store Review Guideline violations. After the developer brought its app into full compliance, the app was restored to the platform.
    • In the remaining 60 cases, the app removals or developer terminations were upheld because of repeated App Store Review Guideline violations, failure to resolve intellectual property disputes, or fraudulent activities that put our customers at risk or disadvantaged other developers. Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to, hiding impermissible app features, using bait-and-switch tactics, engaging in auto-renewal subscription scams, misleading and manipulating users, and submitting fraudulent customer reviews and ratings. This conduct exemplifies the type of ongoing threats and challenges faced by the App Store every day, and the actions we take to meet our commitment to keep the App Store a trustworthy ecosystem, a safe and enjoyable experience for users, and a great place for developers to offer their amazing apps.

Reporting period: 12 July 2020 – 12 July 2021

  • Total number of complaints filed: 12
  • Types of complaints: The P2B complaints received by Apple related to decisions to restrict, suspend, or remove apps and developers from the Apple App Store.
  • Average time to process complaints submitted through the P2B complaint-handling system: 11.25 calendar days
  • Aggregated information regarding the outcome of the complaints:
    • The original restriction, suspension, or termination action was upheld in 10 of 12 cases.
    • One app was restored to the App Store platform after the developer successfully resolved an Intellectual Property dispute with another third party developer.
    • In a second case, the developer was provided 2 months to resolve repeated App Store Review Guidelines violations, fraud complaints and consumer complaints regarding their app. After the developer brought its app into full compliance, the app was restored to the App Store.
    • In the remaining 10 cases, the developer terminations were upheld because of repeated App Review Guideline violations or fraudulent activities that put our customers at risk or disadvantaged other developers. This included conduct such as hiding impermissible app features, using bait-and-switch tactics, engaging in auto-renewal subscription scams, and submitting fraudulent customer reviews and ratings. This conduct exemplifies the type of ongoing threats and challenges faced by the App Store every day, and the actions we take to meet our commitment to keep the App Store a safe and trusted place for developers to make available to users their amazing apps.

Additional information

At Apple we are committed to being transparent, treating developers fairly, and resolving concerns developers may have as efficiently and effectively as possible. In addition to addressing P2B complaints, we provide multiple channels for developers to contact Apple, including the following:

Developer support

Developer Support is often the starting point for assistance with the following categories of issues:

  • Membership and account
  • Development and technical
  • App setup and distribution
  • Reports and payments
  • Events
  • Report a concern
  • Feedback and other topics

Feedback Assistant

Developers can submit feedback to Apple using the native Feedback Assistant app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, or the Feedback Assistant website. After developers submit feedback, they receive a Feedback ID to track the submission within the app or on the website.

App Store content dispute

Developers who believe that an application or Search Ad available in the App Store violates their intellectual property rights can submit a claim to the App Store Legal Team.

App name dispute

Developers who believe an app is preventing them from using their trademark as an app name on the App Store can submit a claim to the App Store Legal Team.

Expedite App Review

Developers facing extenuating circumstances can request the review of their app be expedited.

Resolve submission issues

If an app has been rejected, developers can communicate with Apple and resolve issues in App Store Connect. A communication from Apple contains information about an app rejection, including how the app is out of compliance with App Store Review Guidelines. Developers can correspond with Apple through App Store Connect and resubmit the build to App Review. Developers can include attachments in their replies, such as screenshots and supporting documents. If an app has been rejected because of a metadata issue, developers can resolve the issue and resubmit the same build.

App rejection and removal appeal

If developers disagree with the outcome of our review, either because they think we misunderstood their app or our review was unfair, they may file an appeal and we will investigate.

Suggest a guideline change

Our goal is to apply the App Store Review Guidelines fairly and consistently. If an app has been rejected and developers are unable to resolve the issues after corresponding with App Review, they may suggest a change to the guidelines.

Reinstate a terminated membership

Developers may petition the App Review Board to reinstate their account by completing a form and providing specific reasons the App Review Board should consider reinstatement of their account.

Improvements and updates

Starting in January 2022, all developers were transitioned to the new, improved submission process in App Store Connect where recent message history with App Review is still available even after an updated app version is submitted.

We value feedback, take complaints seriously, and continually seek to improve the App Store to provide the most trusted place to discover and download apps and a great opportunity for all developers to be successful.