Apple has warned that any app developers found to be artificially inflating rankings so that more people will download them to their mobile phones will be kicked off the App Store.

The move follows a developer blowing the whistle on the practice of using automated PCs in order to help apps get a push up the charts. The anonymous developer reportedly said it was common practice for people to pay for this.

A statement on its developer forum Apple stated that people must avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts.

"Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership," the statement read.

A recent report compiled by Juniper Research claimed that annual revenues from consumer mobile phone apps will approach $52 billion (£32 billion) by 2016.

Posted by Samantha Green

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