Apple has fulfilled its promise to developers by publishing its inaugural App Store Transparency Report, following a settlement agreement reached in a lawsuit in 2021.
As part of the settlement, Apple committed to providing developers with comprehensive statistics regarding the app review process. The report contains valuable insights into various aspects, including app rejections, deactivated accounts, removed apps, search queries and results, and more.
The 2022 App Store Transparency Report, along with its supplementary data, addresses all the information requested by developers and is now available for download from Apple's legal site. In 2022, there were 1,783,232 apps on the App Store, with a total of 6,101,913 submissions. Of these, 1,679,694 apps were rejected for reasons ranging from security and performance to design and legal issues.
The report also highlights that 253,466 apps were approved after developers worked with Apple to fix the problems identified. In addition, 186,195 apps were removed from the App Store for rule violations, with games making up the majority of the removed apps, followed by the Utilities, Business and Education categories.
Regarding government takedowns, China tops the list, requesting the removal of 1,435 apps. Notably, the majority of these apps (1,276) were games removed due to the absence of the required GRN license in compliance with China's regulations. Apple also complied with removal requests from India (14 apps), Pakistan (10 apps), and Russia (7 apps). In several other countries, including Türkiye, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Italy, Latvia, and Nigeria, only a minimal number of apps were removed at the government's request.
The report reports that developers appealed 18,412 deleted apps, resulting in Apple restoring only 616 developer accounts. Apple explains that most of the appealed apps were originally removed from the App Store due to fraud or illegal activity, which explains the relatively high number of rejected appeals.
With 36,974,015 registered developers, Apple terminated 428,487 developer accounts in 2022. Terminations occur for a variety of reasons, but the most common reason is to link to other terminated developer accounts. Of the 3,338 developers who appealed the App Store ban, only 159 accounts were reinstated. Apple attributes this denial to the fact that most of the appealed developer account closures are related to fraud.
The report also indicates that 282,036,628 customer accounts were terminated, including those created on the site by non-iPhone and iPad users. On average, 656,739,889 people visited the App Store each week and downloaded an average of 747,873,877 apps per week. Users made an average of 373,211,396 searches on the App Store, with 1,399,741 apps appearing in the top 10 results for at least 1,000 searches.
More information can be found in additional Apple data. Apple intends to release App Store Transparency Reports on an annual basis moving forward.