Apple Cracking Down on Duplicate Apps in the App Store
Duplicates are the plague of any platform that hosts apps. Which is why services such as the App Store and Google Play Store have stringent measures in place to ensure that developers don't spam the platform with duplicates. However, people always find a way to circumvent the rules and Techcrunch stumbled upon some developers that were attempting to spam the App Store with multiple apps which were in clearly in violation of Apple's rule 4.3 which states:
Don’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app and provide the variations using in-app purchase. Also avoid piling on to a category that is already saturated; the App Store has enough fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra apps already. Spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Developer Program.
The apps in question, this time around, happen to be VoIP apps that let you get a second phone number and send and receive calls and texts from that new number. However, there are several other categories of apps where the practice is rampant. It is a much bigger issue that Apple needs to address.
Releasing multiple versions of the same app is a great App Store optimization strategy. This way, you can pick a different name, different keywords, and different categories. It only increases the chances of potential customers are going to see your app in their App Store search results.
Apple has, in the past, attempted to clean up the App Store by removing a significant amount of non-functional and old apps. But it is only a matter of time before some developers are back at it again. Nothing short of constant vigilance and strict punitive action against errant developers can keep free from such apps.