Many times, when an app is popular, some developers develop some app that has name and features similar to the popular app. People would be confused and mistakenly download the impostor app. However, this is not going to continue any longer.
Apple has removed a number of copy-cat apps from the App Store. Most of the removed apps were those that had plagiaristic titles such as Tiny Birds, Temple Jump and Numbers With Friends replicated by developer Anton Sinelnikov. Apple has taken such actions against the apps made by shady developers in the past. In 2008, Apple removed 1,000 apps after noticing some fake 5-star reviews in the App Store.
However, the problem is greater than just a few scam apps from a few shady developer. Most of us know that these titles copy from the real deal, specifically Tiny Wings, Temple Run and Words With Friends. However, those who might be new users are likely to have confusion and get a nasty surprise after they have drop down money only to discover that they have been conned into buying a fake app. This creates a bad experience and might make them wary of the App Store in the future.
These scams make legitimate developers lose out on the income. It is difficult and expensive enough, especially for independent developers, to get a hit title on the App Store. When and if they finally do have a hit on their hands, they now have to worry about scammers trying to steal their sales, damage their brand, and turn off their customers. According to developer Kode80, scammers rely on the outrage that follows their copy-cat apps to actually gain attention and drive sales.
Apple needs to do more to prevent rogue developers from getting their apps listed on app store.
When it comes to copyright issues, Apple just wait for a complaint and then leave the developers involved to fight it out. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it lets bigger, more established brands bully competitors out of the App Store.
Likewise, Zynga, one of the biggest gaming companies on the planet, has been accused of copying NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower with their new game, Dream Heights. Dream Heights does not present itself as a copy-cat in the App Store the way Sinelnikov’s did, with similar naming and branding intended to cause confusion. However, it does duplicate the look, feel, and gameplay of a popular independent game.