Apple's Top Free Charts Incorrectly Ranking Apple Apps on Some iOS Devices

Apple's Top Free Charts on some iOS devices appear to be incorrectly ranking Apple apps like iMovie, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. As discovered by Sensor Tower and shared by TechCrunch, on some iOS devices, the App Store's Top Free Chart lists Pages, Numbers, and Keynote at higher ranks than on the desktop App Store and on other iOS devices.

For example, on an iPad mini 2 and an iPhone 5s, we found iMovie, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers all listed within the top 10 free apps, all at different positions. On an iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad Pro, the only Apple app in the top 20 free apps is iTunes U, which also matches up with the desktop version of the App Store. iTunes U, according to Sensor Tower's data, is the only app along with GarageBand that should be listed in the top 10 of the free chart.

ipadminitopcharts

App Store Top Free Charts on iPad mini

While MacRumors did not see the errant chart behavior on more recent devices, both TechCrunch and Sensor Tower have seen problematic ranking numbers on a range of different devices running iOS 9.1. Devices running iOS 8.3 did not seem to be affected by the problem.

iphone6spluscharts

App Store Top Free Charts on iPhone 6s Plus

As TechCrunch points out, it's not clear if the discrepancy between App Store Top Chart listings is a bug or an intentional manipulation by Apple, but given the significantly different results from device to device, even those that are the same generation, it seems more like a bug than something done deliberately.

The discrepancy, of course, could be related to a bug in Apple's App Store ranking algorithm, but it's a persistent one if that's the case.

It doesn't appear to be impacting the relative rankings of most other Top applications, besides Apple's. That is, Facebook Messenger is still at the top of the App Store, followed by newcomer Acapella from PicPlayPost, then YouTube, and then Facebook.

Apps like Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and iMovie are listed in the Top Free Charts because they are provided to iOS users at no cost with the purchase of an iOS device, but these apps are not free, an issue that could potentially be causing chart problems. All of the above listed apps sell for $4.99 to $9.99.

Apple has, however, manipulated the App Store results in the past to highlight its own apps, so it could be the result of a direct work to promote its line of iWork apps to specific devices or specific users, but without comment from Apple, it's difficult to tell.

Top Rated Comments

ButteryScrollin Avatar
71 months ago
Meanwhile at Apple:

Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jpgr15 Avatar
71 months ago
Before people start accusing apple of manipulation I'll highlight this-
Well, hopefully people actually read the article before posting.

Nevermind, who am I kidding?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
skinned66 Avatar
71 months ago
Well so much for those "improved" App Store search algorithms from a couple of days ago. :)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SlipperySlop Avatar
71 months ago
Obviously, it was no accident. What article?
Exactly. You should read the article and use some common sense before bashing apple. Oh wait, bashing apple is the hobby of the vast majority of people on this forum. Too bad you guys don't have a constructive hobby instead of spending your days waiting for any apple article that gives you even the slightest excuse to predict the demise of apple and to start bashing apple. Has even a single of one of you that takes such joy in bashing apple left the apple arena and gone to some other company for your cellular and computing needs? Of course not. How very sad for most of you. Now watch, I'll be the one kicked off this board and the rest of you who post nonsensical and absurd comments will be allowed to stay. Oh well.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oblivious.Robot Avatar
71 months ago
Jeez, Apple can't catch a break today.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TMRJIJ Avatar
71 months ago
I knew it. There's no way Minecraft was that popular.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
duanrui iphone13 notch samples

More Leaked iPhone 13 Samples Show Smaller Notch, Repositioned Earpiece and Front Camera

Wednesday April 14, 2021 1:06 am PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has today shared an image of two iPhone 13 "film samples," which show the same rumored smaller notch design coming to the iPhone 13 series that we've seen from other sources. In past tweets, DuanRui has accurately leaked the correct names of the iPhone 12 models and an iPad Air 4 manual revealing its new design, so there's good reason to think this leak is credible, ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
iPad Pro Mini LED

Mini-LED iPad Pro Expected at Apple Event on April 20 as Production Ramps Up

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:53 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be hosting a virtual event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, and one of the new products expected to be unveiled at the event is a new iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display. In a brief snippet shared with paid subscribers, Taiwanese supply chain news website DigiTimes today reported that Apple supplier Ennostar has substantially improved its yield...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
spotify car thing 1

Spotify Announces the 'Car Thing' as its First Hardware Device

Tuesday April 13, 2021 7:03 am PDT by
Spotify has today announced its first hardware device, the "Car Thing," which is an in-car dash-mounted music and podcast player (via TechCrunch). Spotify is looking to provide a product for customers who want a "more seamless" and personalized in-car listening experience, especially in the large number of cars that do not support modern in-car infotainment systems. The Car Thing is aimed ...