Life is generally pretty easy for Apple. Consumers love its products, which they continue to snap up at a rapid pace, and the company’s iOS ecosystem is arguably the most impressive around.
But the past week has been anything but easy for the Cupertino-based tech giant.
As we reported yesterday, a nasty glitch was discovered after iOS apps downloaded through the App Store began to crash upon launch, creating bad experiences for app users and headaches for app developers.
Apple finally spoke out about the issue, and indicated that it resolved a problem “with a server that generated DRM code for some apps being downloaded.” In an apparent effort to appease developers upset that their crashing apps were leading to negative App Store reviews, Apple basically found a way to minimize the prominence of those negative reviews.
While crashing apps are a big deal for obvious reasons, it would have been an easier week for Apple if it didn’t also have to deal with a security and privacy-related issue.
As detailed by the Los Angeles Times, earlier this week, Apple company was dealt an embarrassing blow as reports surfaced indicating that the first malware app had slipped into the App Store. According to antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab, an app called Find and Call used data contained in users’ address books to facilitate text message spam. The app also sought to collect data about users’ social networks, email addresses and PayPal accounts.
So is the App Store, which is coming up on its fourth anniversary, finally starting to experience growing pains? While it’s easy to brush off this week’s events as overblown and suggest that Apple was the victim of bad timing, one thing is certain: with more than 650,000 apps, 30bn downloads and billions of dollars in revenue, the App Store ecosystem isn’t going to run itself.
Increasingly, Apple will find itself facing greater threats and dealing with more significant risks, and given the App Store’s size, when things do inevitably go wrong, the spotlight it finds itself in will necessarily be pretty bright.