Flicktype Watch KeyboardSource: Flicktype

What you need to know

  • FlickType's lawsuit against Apple is moving forward.
  • The developer claims that Apple allowed copycat apps to steal its profits.
  • FlickType dissolved its presence on the App Store in August of 2021.

FlickType's lawsuit against Apple is moving forward.

As reported by TechCrunch, Kosta Eleftheriou, the developer behind FlickType, is seeing his lawsuit move forward after Apple initially attempted to shut it down. Superior Court Judge Peter H. Kirwan allowed half of the complaints to move forward with the option to amend the other half, despite Apple's protest.

Eleftheriou alleges that, after struggling to get his app approved on the App Store, Apple then allowed a slew of copycat apps to steal revenue away from the FlickType app for years.

When Apple chose to approve FlickType in January 2020, the keyboard app reached the App Store's top 10 paid app list and generated $130,000 in revenue during its first month, Eleftheriou said. But this soon made it a target for scammers who launched barely usable competitors boosted by fake ratings and reviews, he claims. As a result, he says FlickType's revenue dropped to just $20,000 per month as the scammers cut into the potential revenue from users seeking a keyboard app.

FlickType eventually shuttered its Apple Watch app in August of 2021, claiming that Apple became impossible to work with concerning App Store submissions. Ironically, Apple released a full-sized keyboard similar to FlickType on the Apple Watch at the system level later that fall with the Apple Watch Series 7.

Apple has argued that its complete control over the App Store protects developers and users, but FlickType is only one of many stories where Apple's promises fell short. Wordle, which became a smash hit on the internet, say tons of copycat versions pop up immediately on the App Store despite it not even having its own app yet.

Eleftheriou said that he is "confident the court will see Apple's practices for what they are."

"Apple has been massively profiting from their App Store monopoly, by restricting the ability of developers to freely conduct business directly with their users. Their anti-competitive practices have gone unchecked for over a decade, and they're only getting more brazen. I'm now looking forward to presenting my case, and I'm confident the court will see Apple's practices for what they are."

TechCrunch reached out to Apple for comment but did not receive a response.