Tech giant Apple, which has been removing apps that no longer receive updates, has clarified that outdated apps are being removed from the App Store as nobody was downloading them.
Apple said that developers of apps that have not been updated within the last three years and fail to meet a minimal download threshold are receiving "an email notifying them that their app has been identified for possible removal from the App Store".
It means that the "app has not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period", it said in an update late on Friday.
While Apple will remove the outdated apps from the App Store, any previously downloaded apps will remain on users' devices.
Also read | Samsung pips Apple to retakes top spot in global smartphone market in Q1
Earlier this week, several app makers, like Protopop Games developer Robert Kabwe, expressed their concerns about the change.
Apple said that developers can appeal app removals.
"And developers, including those who recently received a notice, will now be given more time to update their apps if needed -- up to 90 days," the company informed.
Apps that are removed will continue to function as normal for users who have already downloaded the app on their device.
"User trust in quality apps is the basis for all we have done in building and running the App Store," said Apple.
Over the course of the past six years, Apple has removed almost 2.8 million apps as part of this process.