Ever read a review of an iOS or Mac App on a site such as this one, and went straight to the App Store to purchase it and then discovered it wasn’t there? No? Well, neither have I. It’s likely that this hasn’t happened to you because even though Apple runs individual App Stores for many different countries throughout the world, they appear to be relatively homogenous, and tend to offer the same apps.
However, on Friday morning, Apple added a tiny little disclaimer sentence to the bottom of the online Apple Store which says “Some applications are not available in all areas. Application availability is subject to change“. Over-analysing this change, what could have possibly prompted this? Does Apple regularly receive large number of e-mails bitching about apps not being available in certain regions, or is it simply a transparent way to avoid a legal issue? Given the amount of folk who decide to sue Apple for extraordinarily random complaints, it wouldn’t be surprising if it were the latter.
However, for those who are interested, at first glance it looks like there isn’t a huge amount of difference in the apps available in each country. In the US Mac App Store, for instance, there are 1655 apps available in the Productivity category. Contrast that with Canada and there are 1651 Productivity apps, but looking at the UK, there are 1644 Productivity apps (11 less than US). Digging a little deeper, in the iOS App Store, there are 6105 Productivity apps in the US, but only 6069 in the UK and 6066 in the Canadian App Store.
Boring, yet interesting.
Of course, there are regional differences and restrictions on what apps are available in a particular country. The app for Sirius XM radio is a classic example. It’s in the US app store but not in the UK app store. This means that the UK is missing out on the Howard Stern show. But what else are they missing out on?
This therefore brings up an interesting question? Do app developers regularly elect not to have their app made available in a particular country?
“Haha – France. I visited you on holiday last year and you left me only a hole in the ground for a toilet. You are no longer getting the opportunity to purchase my fart app…Suck it“.
We may never know.