Apple removes customer reviews from the online Apple Store

Sometimes a quick and easy way to find out if a product is worth a monetary investment is to sift through customer reviews, which can help a potential buyer make an informed decision. Those reviews have been on the online Apple Store site for years, but not anymore.

As was first reported by AppleInsider on Thursday, it appears that Apple has decided to remove all customer reviews from its online storefront. The report states that the removal happened over the weekend, with the last date the customer reviews were available being Sunday, November 17.

At the time of publication, the customer reviews have been pulled not only from the online Apple Store in the United States, but also from the United Kingdom and Australia digital storefronts. There is no word from Apple at this point why this move was made, and there is no indication the company plans on bringing the customer reviews (which were wrangled under the “Ratings & Reviews” section on product pages) back to its online store.

Here, courtesy of the initial report citing data from the Wayback Machine to get a snapshot of an older version of Apple’s online store, you can see Ratings & Reviews available to access on November 16, and then gone on November 17:

Indeed, while this snapshot is from the original Apple Pencil’s product page, the Ratings & Reviews section is not present on any part of the online Apple Store. It sure seems like Apple has pulled all customer reviews from the online store, which is a strange look. The inclusion of customer reviews offers some transparency, so removing them altogether — without an indication of bringing them back — might not sit well with some.

It’s here that I need to include the rest of the original tip that AppleInsider received leading to this discovery. The YouTube channel Fstoppers recently published a video that reads mostly negative customer reviews of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, which went live on November 16. That would appear to coincide with the removal of the customer reviews for all products on Apple’s.

That does not necessarily mean those two things are related, though. After all, there are plenty of negative reviews and comments out there on the internet about Apple’s products.

If Apple does make a comment on this, or brings back the customer reviews to its online store(s), I’ll update this post accordingly.

What do you make of all this? Think it’s not a great move on Apple’s part? Think it’s a mistake they’ll fix without much fanfare? Hash it out in the comments.