Apple rejected 1 million new apps seeking to join its App Store last year, according to a blog post released Tuesday.
The announcement providing some details about why Apple rejected certain apps and updates was released as the Silicon Valley giant fends off a legal challenge from Epic Games in the second week of a trial in California federal court.
The trial is centered around allegations from Epic Games accusing Apple of anticompetitive behavior for kicking Epic’s Fortnite game out of the App Store after an update to the game offered a separate payment system that circumvented Apple’s 30 percent commission fees.
Apple’s defense is largely based around an argument that its App Store rules protect customers, and Tuesday's blog post further promoted the claim.
“Apple helps keep the App Store a safe and trusted place for users to discover apps by detecting and taking action against fraudulent developers and users,” Apple said in the blog post.
Apple said that in 2020 alone, it protected customers from more than $1.5 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions.
The tech giant said more than 48,000 apps were rejected for containing hidden or undocumented features, more than 150,000 were rejected for being spam, copycats or misleading to users and more than 215,000 apps were rejected for privacy violations.
The blog post also highlighted developers that “perform a bait and switch” by “fundamentally changing how the app works after review to evade guidelines and commit forbidden and even criminal actions.”
“When such apps are discovered, they’re rejected or removed immediately from the store, and developers are notified of a 14-day appeals process before their accounts are permanently terminated,” the company said.
About 95,000 apps were removed from the store for fraudulent violations, predominantly for the “bait-and-switch maneuvers,” Apple said.
Epic Games, and other prominent and small developers, have dismissed Apple’s argument that its policies are in place to benefit user security.
Apple is also under fire over its App Store rules in Washington.
Senators on both sides of the aisle pressed Apple and Google executives at a recent Judiciary antitrust subcommittee hearing. Although lawmakers of both parties have put forward proposals to revamp antitrust laws, there is still partisan disagreement over what proposals to pursue.