iMore is reporting that Apple removed the popular developer Dash app from the Apple App Store and deleted Kapeli’s developer account.  This was done, according to Apple, because Dash was manipulating App Store reviews through paid ratings and review fraud.  From Kapeli’s blog:

Earlier today, Apple cancelled my developer account and has removed Dash from the App Store.


Apple contacted me and told me they found evidence of App Store review manipulation. This is something I’ve never done.

Apple’s decision is final and can’t be appealed.

Unless you have a jailbroken iPhone, only apps from the Apple app store can be loaded onto the phone.  Functionally, the Dash app is dead for mobile devices.  Apple also removed the MacOS version from the App Store, but is still available via Kapeli.  The MacOS does not have the same limitation on loading applications from third parties.

How did this happen?  Apple claims it sent warnings and communications occur with developers before and after removal for cause.  Since Dash is a widely used app (and not a fly-by-night scam), many eyebrows have been raised.

Clearly, something went wrong here.  There is no appeals process.  Apple claims fraud and the developer denies it.  Apple makes a lot of money from its App Store.  This is a popular app — not sure why the developer would need to manipulate reviews.  Perhaps mediation would be helpful to bridge the gap here.