Apple Delaying Telegram From Releasing Major App Store Update, Telegram CEO Says [Updated]

Telegram's CEO, Pavel Durov, is lashing out against Apple over the company's "obscure" App Store review process that is delaying Telegram from releasing an update to its app that will "revolutionize how people express themselves in messaging."

telegram app icon
In his Telegram channel, Durov says that an update to Telegram for iOS that will change how people communicate has been stuck in Apple's ‌App Store‌ review process for over two weeks, with no communication from the company over why or when it will be approved. Durov points out that if an app as popular as Telegram receives this treatment, one can "imagine the difficulties experienced by smaller app developers."

For example, our upcoming update – which is about to revolutionize how people express themselves in messaging – has been stuck in Apple's "review" for two weeks, without explanation or any feedback provided by Apple.

If Telegram, one of the top 10 most popular apps globally, is receiving this treatment, one can only imagine the difficulties experienced by smaller app developers. It's not just demoralizing: it causes direct financial losses to hundred of thousands of mobile apps globally.

Durov, a vocal critic of Apple and its ‌App Store‌ in the past, points out the controversial "Apple tax," which gives Apple a 30% cut of certain in-app purchases from eligible apps that make over $1 million annually. Durov calls Apple's behavior "abusive" and says that damage inflicted by the company "can't be undone."

This harm goes on top of the 30% tax Apple and Google take from app developers – which, according to them, is supposed to pay for the resources needed to review apps. The regulators in the EU and elsewhere are slowly starting to look into these abusive practices. But the economic damage that has already been inflicted by Apple on the tech industry won't be undone.

It's unclear why Apple is delaying Telegram's app update from reaching the millions of Telegram users. Most apps are typically reviewed fairly quickly, so the long wait in this instance is particularly interesting. Telegram is one of the most popular messaging services on the ‌App Store‌, competing with the likes of WhatsApp, Instagram, Signal, and Apple's iMessage service.

On its website, Apple says, "every week, over 500 dedicated experts around the world review over 100K apps," adding that over 1 million submissions are rejected.

Update: Telegram's update has since been approved on the ‌App Store‌, with the exception of new animated versions of Apple's emoji called Telemoji that Telegram had planned to release. Apple's ‌App Store‌ Review Guidelines do not allow apps to replicate Apple's emoji.

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Top Rated Comments

tomnavratil Avatar
25 months ago
It's always funny how some companies complain about Apple's review process when you later find out that they've been contacted by Apple multiple times about violating App Store Guidelines with things like improper use of APIs, data collection, incorrect metadata or privacy labels and so on.

Over the past 7 years, I've published probably 25+ apps to App Store for a variety of clients (startups, SMEs and even Fortune 500 companies) and every time we got rejected in review it was due to our fault - either in the listing or a bug that got missed in internal QA. And I have to say, even with L1 support, they've been fairly on point to outlining what's wrong and how to fix it. I know this is just one experience but I highly doubt that they have an app in review for 2 weeks if they've done everything correctly.
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
25 months ago
Apple is reviewing the revolutionary Telegram features to determine which they'd like to poach for iMessage.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JCCL Avatar
25 months ago

Personally, I'd be happy if Telegram were removed from a. App Stores.
Yeah - I don't like an App, so no one shall have it! Weird attitude being happy and wishing that something others enjoy is taken away from them, even if you don't enjoy it yourself. I would never download Tik Tok on my phone, but others seem to enjoy for reasons I will never understand, so why would I want that taken away? I just ignore it.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
autrefois Avatar
25 months ago

Telegram's CEO, Pavel Durov, is lashing out against Apple over the company's "obscure" App Store review process that is delaying Telegram from releasing an update to its app that will "revolutionize how people express themselves in messaging."
Apple is standing in the way of revolution! ?

But on a serious note, I think Apple should generally take *more* time to review apps and not less, considering some of the junk apps that slip through — although this is a well-known app and developer, and I strongly doubt in this case that the review of the app itself is what’s holding things up.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rp100 Avatar
25 months ago
“Apple is delaying the release of our revolutionary new features!”

Translation:
“Marketing and finance agreed that a negative presser about Apple would be the cheapest method to generate interest and new sign-ups.”
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
25 months ago
Telegram CEO needs to wait, get in line and wait for his turn.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)