Apple Quietly Revises Its In-App Purchasing Requirements
- If you sold content outside the app, you also had to implement in-app purchasing
- Your in-app price had to match your external pricing, while giving Apple a 30% cut.
- If you show a link or button that takes people to an external purchasing site, you have to implement in-app purchasing
- You can choose your in-app pricing freely.
- The old regulations were unclear as to whether companies like Netflix, that let you subscribe externally, would have to implement in-app purchasing (which is a lot of work). The new rules clarify that they don’t have to, as long as there is no “click here to purchase stuff” button.
- Why the change of heart? There were probably several reasons:
- The in-app purchasing requirements might have been a product of a strategy tax , where one part of a company make another part do counter-productive things. In Apple’s case, the old rules would have given iTunes movies, iTunes music and iBooks a competitive edge against, say, Amazon. On the other hand, they threaten the competitiveness of the the iOS app store against Google. Now the latter party prevailed.
- Some companies such as the Financial Times were prepared to drop their iPad app in favor of a webapp .
- Competition from Android is increasing, albeit slowly.
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