Apple Expels 1000 Apps From iPhone Developer For Fake Reviews

The iPhone maker has reportedly booted more than 1,000 applications from the App Store built by developer Molinker after investigating allegations that many of the reviews for the developer's applications were fake and artificially inflated its user scores.

Although Apple has regularly rejected many individual applications in the past, the Molinker expulsion is believed to mark the first time the company has wiped out a big number of previously-approved applications from a single developer.

The allegations stemmed after, a site for iPhone photography, said a reader had uncovered what he believed was a user-ratings scam in which a developer was artificially inflating its user ratings. The reader found that the "users" gave only high marks, and poorly-written reviews, to several Molinker applications and nothing else. According to iPhoneography, which passed the information along to Apple, Apple had promised to investigate the allegations.

Appfreak, an iPhone-focused blog, reportedly received a reply from Molinker executives that downplayed the alleged review scam.

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"We got e-mail from Apple yesterday [December 6] which told us our contract is changed to pending status. Actually, we do not know what's wrong so far. We had contacted Apple for such sudden changes, hope we can get quick response and actions from Apple," Molinker executives reportedly wrote to Appfreak in an e-mail.

But iPhoneography reported that Apple's Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, confirmed that Molinker's "apps have been removed and their ratings no longer appear either."

Several comments on iPhoneography lauded Apple's actions for cleaning up its own store.

"Great news ... and a wake-up call for other developers who are doing the same thing. The whole padding the review issue has been a pet peeve of mine, and I'm very happy that justice has been served," wrote one person on iPhonegraphy's site.