Telegram founder attacks Apple for holding back major update, hails EU action on tech monopolies

In 2018, Durov said Apple had been blocking updates to the app’s iOS iteration after Russia banned Telegram.

Telegram Apple
Durov discussed the holdup as part of a broader critique of the business model of app stores. (Reuters)

Apple has held back an upcoming Telegram update in Apple’s app review for two weeks without any explanation, CEO and founder Pavel Durov said. The Russian-born techie and entrepreneur said the update was “about to revolutionize how people express themselves in messaging” but it is yet to be approved.

Durov discussed the holdup as part of a broader critique of the business model of app stores. He said the “obscure” app review process “imposed on all mobile apps by the tech monopolies” discouraged Telegram. He added that if Telegram, among the 10 most popular apps globally, was receiving such a treatment, he could only imagine the d smaller app developers faced.

“I love my work. What could be more exciting than improving the way hundreds of millions of people communicate? Members of our team, myself included, must be some of the luckiest people alive,” Durov said in a post on his Telegram channel.

“The only thing that we find discouraging is that we’re often unable to distribute the new versions of Telegram due to the obscure “review process” imposed on all mobile apps by the tech monopolies.”

It’s is still unclear what the new update would have brought to the app.

“If Telegram, one of the top 10 most popular apps globally, is receiving this treatment, one can only imagine the difficulties experienced by smaller app developers. It’s not just demoralizing: it causes direct financial losses to hundred of thousands of mobile apps globally,” Durov said.

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This also isn’t the first time that Durov has called out Apple for the app review process.

In 2018, he said Apple had been blocking updates to the app’s iOS iteration after Russia banned Telegram. Apple approved an update a day after Durov’s post.

“This harm goes on top of the 30% tax Apple and Google take from app developers – which, according to them, is supposed to pay for the resources needed to review apps. The regulators in the EU (European Union) and elsewhere are slowly starting to look into these abusive practices. But the economic damage that has already been inflicted by Apple on the tech industry won’t be undone.”

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Recently, Telegram rolled out a $4.99/month Premium subscription, giving users access to faster downloads, larger uploads, a voice-to-text feature, unique emoji reactions, and many other features.

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