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Apple Fixes App Store's Alphabetical Listing

Some developers had gamed the system by placing spaces or characters before the name of their software to achieve a higher placement on the list.
Apple has apparently fixed the App Store's alphabetical listing, which some iPhone developers apparently had gamed to get their software listed on top.

Bloggers such as Macenstein reported several days ago that developers had placed spaces or characters, such as the price of the application, before the name of their software, apparently in order to get their wares toward the top of the list. The discovery angered developers playing by the rules, who said the trick was unfair and unethical.

"As a developer myself with my own game on this list, I am extremely disappointed that these companies have essentially tried to step all over everyone else in order to promote their products," one developer wrote, according to Macenstein.

By Tuesday, it appeared Apple had fixed the problem in the "Sort By: Name" list, according to the blog MacUser. Indeed, a visit to the App Store on Wednesday showed that many of the applications with the offending names had been placed in their rightful places.

Apple reported on Monday that more than 10 million applications had been downloaded from the App Store since its launch on Thursday. Apple released on Friday the new 3G iPhone, which the company has opened up to third-party developers.

The App Store opened with more than 500 applications. That number has since grown by several hundred. About a quarter of the applications are available at no charge, and 90% of the paid software costs less than $10, according to Apple.

Analysts have said that Apple is positioning the iPhone not as a mobile phone with Web access, but as an Internet-connected touch-screen computer that happens to also make phone calls. The App Store is pivotal in this transition, because useful software is what drives the sale of computers, not fancy hardware.