Amidst allegations that Gibson committed fraud by lying about her condition and failing to hand over money that was promised for charities, Apple first removed The Whole Pantry from their featured Apple Watch list which they have been promoting all week and then proceeded to remove it from the iOS App Store entirely. Without knowing too much about the situation concerning Gibson and the foundation of The Whole Pantry, I initially thought Apple was simply abusing their inner-Walled Garden powers in favor of protecting their PR image rather than properly investing the foundation of an app that Apple supported and promoted.
It wasn’t until I took some time to myself to really consider the depth of the situation that I came to realize that this might have been Apple best way to deal with the situation. Here’s the possible scenarios:
1. If Belle Gibson was actually misdiagnosed
Gibson is claiming that it’s possible that she was actually misdiagnosed. It would supply a more reasonable explanation as to why her terminal brain cancer “disappeared”. This is far from uncommon. Even if we consider the reality that a large amount of misdiagnoses go unreported, it is estimated that approximately 10 to 20 percent of all cases of cancer are misdiagnosed.
With those numbers in tow, it’s important that we as the public give Gibson the benefit of the doubt. However, it’s not unreasonable that Apple has no want in extending the olive branch. It would be cool to see Apple stand behind their app developer pending an actual investigation, but doing so would be a big PR gamble for Apple or anyone else for that matter.
2. Belle Gibson lied and made millions off of it
The other side of the scenario is pretty obvious at this point and follows in the same outlook. Even if she wasn’t misdiagnosed and purposely mislead everyone, Apple has every right in removing her The Whole Pantry from the App Store. In order to agree with this, you must accept that her entire business model is built off of a lie and is therefore to be considered fraud.
To put this in a more understandable perspective, imagine if Warren Buffet used the money he obtain by committing fraud, created an app about making money and then placed it on the App Store? Morally, I wouldn’t have any qualms against Apple promptly removing such an app.
Overall, it sucks that such an app that was even held in high esteem by Apple is now missing from the Apple Watch App Store. In other news, the Whole Pantry is still available over at Google Play. It will be interesting to see if the “all press is good press” ideology plays out here and increases her downloads from 10,000 – 50,000 to an even greater amount. The Whole Pantry currently goes for $2.99.