The company said in a submission to the ACCC as part of its ‘Digital Platform Services Inquiry’ that the main purpose of the app review process is to protect consumers from fraudulent, nonfunctioning, malicious or scam apps.
“Central to the App Review process is the protection of our consumers’ privacy and security. That is why the App Review process is iterative and some apps may require multiple rounds of submission before Apple is satisfied the app meets all of the guidelines,” Apple said in its reply.
After passing the News Media Bargaining Code to make Facebook and Google pay for news content on their platforms, the Australian government has now begun deliberations on the browser domination, putting Apple under the probe too.
Focused on the “choice and competition in internet search and web browsers”, the ACCC has released a discussion paper, asking for submissions based on the pre-installed browsers as defaults.
Apple said that app review is the “human-led process of reviewing apps submitted to the app store to ensure they are reliable, perform as expected, respect user privacy, and are free of objectionable content”.
The company said it reviews 73 per cent of prospective apps within 24 hours of being submitted by a developer.
If an app is rejected, developers are able to correspond with the Apple team member who reviewed the app via App Store Connect.
In addition to communicating with developers through the App Review process, Apple has a number of other touchpoints with developers in a one-to-one context.
Apple operates a worldwide telephone support line for developers who have enquiries about topics such as app submission and management, enrolment and membership, and analytics.
“This support line is available in all 175 countries where the Apple App Store is present and, on average, facilitates 1,000 calls per week,” the company said.
According to the AICC, pre-installed services and services set as a default can function as barriers to entry and expansion.
“Consumers may stick with a default option on account of imperfect information. For example, consumers may remain with an incumbent search service rather than switch to a new entrant if they do not know whether the incumbent provides a higher quality search service than the new entrant, and substantial information costs would have to be incurred to compare the quality of the two search services,” the commission argued.