In an update of its App Store Review Guidelines, mobile giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) added in one line indicating:
Apps that facilitate binary options trading are not permitted on the App Store. Consider a web app instead.
The key question is, why did Apple do this? The company isn’t responsible for any ‘bad behaviour’ which Binary Options brokers might take against their clients, whether via the app or not.
In conversations with several mobile industry experts, LeapRate has learned that Apple often takes these decisions based on customer feedback. Too many complaints, and Apple can either list a specific app for review or removal. Or, as in this case. remove a whole “class” of apps.
Apparently Apple has indeed received a large number of complaints by clients and former clients of Binary Options brokers, stating that they have been fleeced by their brokers making the functionality of the app (such as cash withdrawals) inoperable.
Apple is not a regulator, of course, but certainly can have more impact on an industry such as Binary Options or online trading than any action a regulator might take. No app, clients will go away. Very simple.
Apple’s actions mark the latest blow against the Binary Options sector, as it struggles to survive under increased regulatory scrutiny, especially in Israel and Cyprus which are home to the majority of Binary Options brokers.