Most of what I write for VentureBeat is factual or fact-based analysis, but sometimes I share my subjective opinion, which is backed by details with some gray areas. This is one of those situations.
I do not think Apple values user ratings, at least not at the executive level. Another possibility is that the company's executives do not really care about what individual users say about what they sell, unless those opinions have a negative impact on their revenue. However, I readily admit (and explain below) that the evidence in this point is mixed.
Regardless of the reasons, Apple's apparent lack of interest in user reviews in the past week alone has twice become a conspicuous problem. At some point in the last few days, just before the Christmas shopping season, all reviews were abruptly removed from the online store. And today the Washington Post announced that Apple has ignored over 1
After many years of reporting both the company and this particular topic, I can tell you that. It's more important than you think, but it's also a more complicated situation than it can be summarized quickly or superficially. Therefore, I will do my best to explain why this is an actual problem for Apple and its users and what can be done about it.
Apple controls what many users see about its products.
Apple has established itself as the exclusive provider of apps for most devices as well as a major provider of first and third party accessories. Users who want iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, or watchOS apps have no choice but to purchase them from the Apple App Store. Similarly, Apple sells a significant portion of the accessories consumers buy for Apple devices. Some of these depend on apps available only in the above app stores.
As a result, users do not intend to buy anything directly from Apple they come to the website and stores to find out about the products. In some cases, z. For example, for accessories available exclusively from the Apple Store, there may be no other place on the Internet to review reviews of these products.
Despite its active role in managing its ecosystems, Apple does not appear to have such a far-reaching responsibility for accessing user reviews, especially its own products. Years ago, the company openly prevented Apple Store customers from evaluating Apple products, claiming that every Apple product earns five stars.
After Apple changed this policy, users flooded the store with numerous less than 5-star ratings for Apple accessories that reveal problems with slightly damaged cables and earbuds and performance reveal defects and other signs of poor design or quality standards. Until this week you could see these reviews before you bought a product. From now on, however, they have completely disappeared. You were taken through a pop-up window labeled "Are you looking for something?" Replaces that does not redirect you to a rating archive.
User reviews help alert potential customers to product issues and make Apple "honest" by revealing details that may not be addressed in its marketing. When Apple retrieves these reviews from its website, it poses a generally positive prospect for potential customers and may mislead them.
Some people might argue that Apple is under no obligation to take the risk of compromising the sale of its products by sharing users' opinions about its store pages. This is clearly the fear that has driven the company to block negative valuations in the past. You can always look elsewhere, it says in the argument.
Unfortunately, Apple has worked actively to make itself the dominant source of information for its products and to punish independent alternatives that did not meet its mandates. In recent years, the company has virtually killed third-party alternatives, such as AppShopper and TouchArcade, by either banning them from their stores or starving out their affiliate earnings. As a result, the company has found a variety of Apple-related user reviews elsewhere has become challenging. Authorized Apple retailers like Amazon and Best Buy may not have reviews for accessories. Even if users could find them with Google searches, there are not many other places where user reviews are grouped together, and trusted independent review pages are few and far between.
Even apps can endanger users.
The problem with the App Store is not that Apple removes or censors user reviews, but completely ignores them, even if they contain important information about the security of apps or their users. As the Post report notes, several "random chat apps" have become haven sanctuaries to reach out to children with sexual desires and content. Using basic machine learning tools, the Post found numerous reports on the issue in the App Store reviews, but Apple – the first company to receive every report, and a trillion-dollar company, had all the automated and manual resources Obviously, "I can not help it."