Apple hasn’t been shy about offering third-party developers ways to boost their visibility in the iOS App Store — and — but it insists that it isn’t manipulating its app search results to favor its own apps. Already facing for with software developers, Apple said today that it uses a complex 42-factor system to , and deliberately obscures its mechanics to prevent third-party manipulation.

The revelation came in response to a that Apple’s own apps are shown first in 60% of the App Store’s categories and in 95% of Apple subscription- or sales-generating categories, even when competing apps from Amazon and Google are higher-ranked or more popular. For instance, Apple Books ranks 168th in its category by downloads and has no user rating, but it displays

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