I noticed recently that updates for some useful apps such as Atomic, iCab Mobile and Skyfire web browsers were not available for download. They only appear if I logged to the US iTunes App Store but when I switch to the Saudi store the apps disappear.
Looking closer I noticed that these apps had the following rating:
You must be at least 17 years old to download this app.
17+ rating in the app store include many apps such as medical apps, web browsers, violent games and more. There are hardly any “pornographic” applications in the app store. Why did they disappear? How can we check?
I checked for another 17+ app: Opera web browser for Mac, here is the US URL of the app:
Which works of course, let’s try swapping US with SA to see if it’s available in the Saudi App Store:
Not available. Let’s try another Middle Eastern country: Qatar.
It’s available, let’s try Kuwait:
Also available. How about the United Arab Emirates:
So Apple has removed all 17+ applications from the Saudi Arabia and UAE App Stores only. Apple wouldn’t have a reason to do so unless a regulatory authority (UAE’s TRA or Saudi’s CITC) has requested that from Apple.
Could this be another mistake just like FaceTime? How will customers who paid for legit apps receive updates?
This is an updated list of useful apps that we can’t get because of this idiotic move:
â€¢ Blogsy iPad blogging application
You can find the author of this post on twitter: @khaled.
Arabic version of this post on SaudiMac Arabic Edition.
Remember to visit We Want Apple Saudi Arabia petition and spread the word.