Two major iPhone sites are revealed to be charging developers up to US$150 to review their apps.
The iPhone created the burgeoning app industry, and that in turn has created its own niche market in sites reviewing iPhone apps – and charging for the privilege.Wired magazine
has found two major iPhone sites are charging app developers from US$25 to US$150 to get their apps reviewed.
Some developers see this as a necessary investment in seeking cut-through in a market crowded by over 150,000 apps – and the offending Web sites offer their own justifcations for the fees.
As Wired points out, the act of “soliciting money in exchange for a product review” is not illegal – but it’s arguably unethical and it “should raise questions about the credibility and independence of the review sites”.
Wired reveals that TheiPhoneAppReview.com and AppCraver.com both charge for reviews, and “both sites appear in the top four Google search results for the search term iPhone app review”.
iPhone App Review charges developers a fee of US$25 to review each app which “is used to compensate our authors”.
AppCraver, meanwhile, charges US$150 for ‘expedited reviews’ – reviews which are pushed to the front of the editorial queue – and promise that the developer will be contacted “prior to publishing a review that scores lower than 5/10.”
A Wired.com columnist and developer who submitted his own app to AppCraver says the site also offered “the opportunity to buy an advertisement on the site, along with the promise that every advertised app would also receive an editorial review.”