Financial Times Won't Give Apple A Cut, Drops iOS for Web App

The Financial Times, a major business newspaper, has decided to drop its iOS app in favor of an HTML5 based web app specifically designed for the iPhone and iPad. The move is in response to Apple's new App Store Subscription requirements that state Apple must get a 30% cut of any subscription sold on iTunes and that publications must offer subscriptions through the App Store.

Financial Times Web App on iPad
In a email to subscribers today, the FT didn't mention the App Store at all, instead touting "valuable improvements" including claims that the web app will be faster and more up-to-date. The interesting part came when the email mentioned the existing app (emphasis added):

Although the old app may still be available for an interim period, we encourage you to switch to the new app as soon as possible. The new app is now the focus of our development efforts and we'll be adding a series of new features, including special reports, over the coming months.

Actually, neither the Financial Times nor anyone else knows what is going to happen at the end of the month to subscription-based apps that don't align with Apple's App Store guidelines. The deadline for subscription based apps to roll out their offerings is June 30. Quoted in the New York Times, Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com said:

We don't quite know what will happen ... we'd love to keep our app in iTunes, but it may be that they will block our app at the end of the month.

They might not know what's going to happen if they don't play ball, but it's Apple's sandbox and the FT isn't sitting around idly. The new web app seems to be very similar to the current iOS App and thus may be able to provide a very similar experience without having to share revenue with Apple. The Financial Times' loyal readership is likely to follow the publication to its web app in significant numbers, meaning that the FT may not be missing out on much by bypassing iTunes.

As the first major publication to drop its iOS app over Apple's subscription guidelines, the FT might just encourage other publications to make the same move. Ben Evans notes, however, that the grass isn't always greener on the other side:

The challenge for other publishers in following the FT is that by doing so, they gain 30% but lose frictionless installs from the app store and frictionless payment from iTunes. For the FT, with a dedicated readership willing to pay, it may be worth giving those things up in exchange for the ability to offer a true cross-platform experience. But if you're depending on impulse download, the tablet experience and the ease of payment to get people to pay for your product where they never paid before, paying Apple 30% of something may be better than keeping 100% of nothing.

Top Rated Comments

theheadguy Avatar
127 months ago
Good for them. If you have the power and the will to survive without reliance on the Apple ecosystem, I say do it.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dustinsc Avatar
127 months ago
Come on Apple. If you ask for 10% you'll keep your content providers and get a cut. I'm sure if you just quit pretending 30% is some sort of magic number, you'd make more money and have happier devs and customers.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wordoflife Avatar
127 months ago
I'm glad they are doing this. Apple is being a bit too greedy.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keruah Avatar
127 months ago
I love Apple, but hope that more companies will do the same.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiiDSmoker Avatar
127 months ago
Good. Hopefully Apple realize what a dickish move they are trying to make.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WannaGoMac Avatar
127 months ago
FT webapp DOES work offline

BTW the FT web app DOES work offline. It stores 1 day of news on the device itself. HTML5 is very capable, and frankly this is a smart move on their part rather than try to support a ton of different devices.

http://apps.ft.com/ftwebapp/faq.html#3 (http://apps.ft.com/ftwebapp/faq.html#3)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
scott forstall original iphone

Epic Games 'Attempting to Locate' Former iOS Chief Scott Forstall to Testify in Ongoing Legal Battle with Apple

Tuesday February 23, 2021 4:22 am PST by
As part of its ongoing legal battle, Epic Games is now seeking testimony from Apple's former iOS software chief, Scott Forstall. Forstall left Apple in 2013, in what was widely reported at the time to have been a forced exit, largely because of the botched early launch of Apple Maps. Since then, Forstall has kept a very low profile and has only made a few media appearances in the past few...