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Charting the 6 Major Factors in MetaTrader's App Store Return In 2022, MetaTrader, the leading forex trading platform, was removed from the App Store, making it one of the biggest financial app removals. Here's how other financial institutions can follow the blueprint of how best to react to the scrutiny of Apple.

By Dmytro Spilka Edited by Jason Fell

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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On Saturday September 24th 2022, the forex trading industry was dealt an unexpected blow: market leader MetaTrader had been removed from the iOS App Store. In one sweeping move, both MetaTrader 4 & 5 had been banished from Apple's range of available downloads, causing traders to fear the worst for their approaches as the leading forex apps have vanished from the store, becoming one of the biggest app removals on the App Store.

The ban forced users to draw up a wide range of conclusions surrounding the app, from fraudulent activity to Russian collusion from MetaTrader's owners, Cypriot firm MetaQuotes. However, nearly six months later, MetaTrader 4 & 5 had returned to the App Store.

Both apps immediately began to reclaim their place in the App Store's top 100 rankings for finance apps, and at the time of writing have surpassed applications like Plus 500 Trading, Coinbase Wallet, MoneyGram, and Bank of Scotland Mobile Bank to name a few.

But how did MetaTrader return from Apple's App Store exodus? Let's take a deeper look into the anatomy of MetaTrader 4 & 5's return to iOS and how other financial institutions can follow the blueprint of how best to react to the scrutiny of Apple:

1. Proactive response to banishment.

Naturally, Apple's App Store can be a powerful means for companies to access huge volumes of users. With this in mind, MetaQuotes' action in responding to Apple's ban was an effective means of supporting users while showing Apple that the firm has every intention to deliver better compliance.

Less than three weeks on from MetaTrader 4 & 5's App Store ban on the 24th September 2022, MetaQuotes introduced a brand new Web Terminal that offered comprehensive support for any device and platform. Developed from scratch, the move was designed to provide traders with a tool for mobile trading quickly and efficiently–with a special focus on smartphone and tablet users.

Arriving on October 12th 2022, Web Terminal stands as an example of how companies can quickly adapt their offering to comply more effectively with Apple.

Along with more analytical objects, the ability to request real accounts via a registration form, more responsive mobile interfaces, and better support for price data subscriptions, MetaQuotes' system improvements was a swift response.

2. The power of users.

When it comes to industries that are heavily driven by their users, a strong social proof can go a long way in maintaining the support of loyal traders.

MetaTrader 4 & 5 enjoyed exceptional ratings on the store, with the latest trading product achieving a star rating of 4.6 among 2,700 reviews, and has been placed well within the top 100 finance applications on Apple.

The immediacy of the app's removal caused shock and confusion among traders, with many resorting to Twitter to voice their surprise and to advise fellow traders.

Other reports suggested that the MetaTrader community had lost their trust in Apple, dismissing the ban as a rash decision. GizChina even reported that iPhones with MetaTrader 4 & 5 pre-installed were being listed for sale online for $5,000 in the wake of the app store removal.

3. Maintaining communication with Apple.

When MetaTrader 4 & 5 made their respective returns to the App Store on March 7th 2023, a little under six months after the initial ban, MetaQuotes CEO, Renat Fatkhullin acknowledged that the company had been in contact with Apple to resolve the issue.

"We are happy that the situation has been resolved and we managed to find an understanding with Apple," Fatkhullin said. "Our company respects the requirements of any marketplace and always strives to meet them. We feel responsible to our users and therefore we did our best to provide clarifications on the issues raised by Apple in a timely manner. I also want to thank the traders, brokers, and media, who actively showed their support."

Apple has long been a divisive company when it comes to supporting some of the App Store's largest apps, and leading firms like Twitter, Spotify, and Fortnite creator Epic Games have all waded in on what they deem unfair listing requirements for applications.

Following Apple reportedly blocking the launch of Spotify's Audiobooks feature, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek launched a scathing attack on what he deemed 'anti-competitive behavior.'

"Almost four years. That's how long it's been since Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, and we are still waiting on a decision," Ek stated. "And while we wait, Apple continues to dictate what online innovation looks like, doing serious harm to the internet economy, choking competition and the imagination of app developers."

"In the absence of government intervention—in Europe, the U.S., or any other market around the world—Apple has shown time and again that it will not self-regulate and has no real incentive to change. With our Audiobooks launch, Apple has once again proven just how brazen it is willing to be with its App Store rules, constantly shifting the goalposts to disadvantage their competitors."

Despite the valid concerns of major blue chip tech firms in the face of Apple, MetaQuotes' policy of supporting open communication between themselves and Apple and making the right adjustments where required appear to have re-opened their MetaTrader applications to a broad market.

4. Building strategic partnerships.

Although MetaQuotes spent much of Q4 2022 and Q1 2023 seeking to counter its App Store banishment for MetaTrader, it didn't stop the firm from launching a series of strategic partnerships geared toward leading financial companies like Meros Equity Global Management.

The arrival of these partnerships can provide an insight into the relationships brokered between MetaQuotes and its network of supporting platforms. These functions can reach further in supporting businesses, and can show businesses how strong external support can help to build advocacy for apps that may come under the scrutiny of Apple.

5. Establishing forex market dominance.

Another driving cause for MetaTrader's App Store return is likely to be down to the platform's position as a market leader for smartphone-based forex trading.

Finance Magnates Intelligence suggested that both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 achieved a combined share of 78.7% of the retail trading industry towards the end of 2020, paving the way for a legitimate monopoly when it comes to forex.

Significant volumes of brokers have become dependent on the MetaQuotes' platforms, and many struggled to serve their clients in the wake of Apple's store bans for MetaTrader 4 & 5.

Such market pressure on a significant industry leader can be a key factor in aiding an eventual reinstatement to the iOS app store. Owing to a widespread lack of a popular alternative, Apple's decision to suspend MetaTrader caused iOS users to suffer in comparison to their Android-based counterparts.

6. Championing collaboration and community.

Finally, MetaQuotes consciously continued to launch new tools designed to maintain the platform's vibrant community throughout the duration of its App Store exodus. On February 16th, almost five months after its iOS removal, MetaQuotes launched a brand new messaging app that was available on both Google Play and Apple's App Store.

Seeking to deliver fundamental and technical analysis using MQL5 Channels, the move helped to maintain MetaQuotes' relevance on iOS devices and maintain the brand loyalty of users who had been waiting for the return of MetaTrader to the store.

"MQL5 Channels will be useful to anyone interested in trading, especially to MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 users," read a MetaQuotes announcement. "The messenger provides a great place for financial-related communities, for corporate chats, and for collaborative problem-solving. Send images, videos, and documents: the reliable messaging system ensures fast delivery even with a poor Internet connection."

While many platforms can fall victim to the whims of Apple, the reinstatement of MetaTrader serves as a blueprint for tech companies around the world to return from the technological sidelines and rediscover their communities on iOS. By striking a balance between constructive communication, innovation, and a commitment to improving, it's possible for platforms to win the favour of Apple.

Dmytro Spilka

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

CEO and Founder of Solvid

Dmytro is a CEO of Solvid, a creative content creation agency based in London. He's also the founder of Pridicto, a web analytics startup. His work has been featured in various publications, including The Next Web, Entrepreneur.com, Huff Post, TechRadar, B2C and Business.com.
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