Apps with names beginning with A are featured forever

Number:rdar://13546525 Date Originated:01-Apr-2013 07:08 PM
Status:Closed/Behaves correctly Resolved:
Product:iOS App Store Product Version:n/a
Classification:Serious Bug Reproducible:Always
Apps with names beginning with "Aa", "Ab" etc. show up in "New" lists of categories forever. They are never pushed out by newly featured apps. This can be reproduced on the German App Store and many other international App Stores. 

Screenshot iTunes:
Screenshot App Store app:

Steps to Reproduce:
In iTunes, open the German App Store and select a category.
In App Store app, select the Highlights tab, then tap "Categories" and select a category. Then tap "Show all" for the "New" section.

Expected Results:
Newly highlighted apps should push out older highlighted apps.

Actual Results:
Apps such as "411", "AA Best Walks in…", "Aachen (Germany)…", "Aachen Map" etc. are listed forever.

This does not seem to happen in the US App Store.

My speculation what's going on: Some apps featured in the US store are not available in other international stores. That's why non-US stores have fewer slots that are actually taken with featured apps. The "free" slots seem to be filled with arbitrary apps beginning with low sort orders.

22-Apr-2013 08:55 PM Apple Developer Bug Reporting Team :

Engineering has provided the following feedback regarding this issue: 

These are apps that the content team is featuring. It has nothing to do with the alphabetization of the apps by name.

We consider this issue closed.

22-Apr-2013 10:01 PM Ortwin Gentz:

I've no doubt that the content team once featured these apps. However, all these apps beginning with these characters are not rolled out when new apps are featured.

Compare the original screenshot ( of April 1 with the current one as of April 22:

You can see that only the apps left of "411" and "AA Best Walks in Britain" have been changed. In fact, when scrolling further to the left, all apps ("left apps") have been changed. But all apps apps to the right of these two ("right apps") are exactly the same. And all these apps have one thing in common: their name starts with either a number or "Aa", "Ab", "Ac,", "Ad", "Ae". 

Another observation: "left apps" are not sorted alphabetically. But all "right apps" are sorted alphabetically.

Frankly, it can't be a coincidence that almost 100 apps are not changed over many months and are sorted alphabetically whereas the rest of the featured apps are not. These are almost 100 apps that are statically featured forever!

If this is indeed intentional, then please consider this bug report as an enhancement request:
  "Make App Store featuring more fair by not preferring apps starting with 'Aa', 'Ab' etc."

Ortwin Gentz 23-Sep-2013 11:06 AM

Despite being marked as "Behaves correctly", the problem still persists. See
As you can see, "AA Best Walks in Britain" and "Aachen Karte" are still featured in the Navigation category in Germany. Half a year later! Also, the problem is not restricted to iTunes only. It can be reproduced on the device as well.


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