App Spam Crackdown

On August 10, 2009


Last week, Apple revoked the developer’s license of Khalid Shaikh. About 900 apps came from Shaikh, founder of Acumen, and his Pakistan-based staff of 26. All of the apps have been removed from the App store.

According to Gagan Biyani at MobileCrunch, Khalid specialized in $4.99 apps that used hundreds of eye-catching topics for apps that provided aggregate content pulled from the web provide little actual information and a trace to a complete absence of original content. In an interview with the site, Khalid noted, “he says, he’s going for “less product value” and “more monetization.”

The pulling of the developer’s license came, in part, as a result of complaints from users, MobileCrunch notes: “Apple claims that it has asked Khalid about more than 100 of his applications and that it ‘continue[s] to receive the same or similar types of complaints regarding [his] Applications despite [Apple’s] repeated notices to [Khalid Shaikh].’"

While Khalid is not the only one creating spam apps, he was one of the leaders in the quantity- over-quality school of product offerings. As a result of the removal of his team’s apps, the apps world is a little richer in content and more valuable to consumers—for now.

One might ask, what took Apple so long? Or, how did these apps get approved in the first place?

What about those who already shelled out their $4.99 for “Top Sexy Ladies: Audrina Partridge” and discovered that the app featured just five pictures pulled off of the Internet? Will these folks get their money back or is it a matter of “buyer: beware?”

Have you ever purchased a spam app? Do you think you should get your money back or is it just the price you’ve paid for trying something unknown?