Apple Kills Financial Times App For In-App Subscription Non-Compliance

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Apple has removed the Financial Times app from the App Store after the FT refused to acquiesce to Apple's updated guidelines regarding in-app subscriptions.

ftwebapp
Instead, the FT launched a well-regarded HTML5 web app in June, designed specifically for the iPad and iPhone, to provide a similar service to the now-defunct app. An email announcing the switch said 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."

PaidContent notes that 10 percent of new digital subscriptions to the FT were taken out on the iPad. However, the publisher felt that owning data about its customers was more important to it than Apple's 30 percent cut of subscription fees.

Top Rated Comments

Doctor Q Avatar
123 months ago
That's one way to encourage use of HTML5.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Goldenbear Avatar
123 months ago

I'm weary of hearing how greedy Apple is because they want a 30% cut. Amazon dictated horrible terms to publishers with Kindle before iBooks came along with an agency model. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft XBox demand far more than a 30% cut for each game sold on their console platforms despite the fact they did nothing to create the game. Apple positioned their ecosystem like a gaming console which much much friendlier terms for developers.

Everybody compares the iOS ecosystem to a desktop computer, but everybody ignores the pre-iPad Kindle days and the game console overlords. These magazine publishers have been selling our personal information for years and still charging for their crap magazines. FT is apparently especially greedy when it comes to subscriptions and still wants your personal data to sell in a secondary market.

Congrats to FT for making a webapp -- good for them. But I feel no pity for them for having Apple pull their iPad app. Business is business, they've put their money on red, now its just a question of whether or not the ball is going to land on black most of the time. Apple seems to think so and seems to think the AppStore is worth the premium. For many that may be the case, for those that can swing a webapp and deal with the degraded experience, then go for it. If Apple is wrong, then their terms will change. If they are right then it would be just one more way they have been right.


Agreed.

I find it very sad that so many people simply can't understand the fact that 30% commission is NOT unreasonable to these companies. The publishers that are refusing to use in-app purchasing are, in the vast majority of cases, doing so because Apple won't automatically hand over customer data... NOT because of the 30% cut.

"However, the publisher felt that owning data about its customers was more important to it than Apple's 30 percent cut of subscription fees."

The ridiculous thing is, Apple isn't refusing to give them the customer data. Apple is simply requiring that the customer OPT-IN.

OMG, how terrible of Apple to try and put the consumer in (some) control of who gets their information! :rolleyes:
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BC2009 Avatar
123 months ago
I'm weary of hearing how greedy Apple is because they want a 30% cut. Amazon dictated horrible terms to publishers with Kindle before iBooks came along with an agency model. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft XBox demand far more than a 30% cut for each game sold on their console platforms despite the fact they did nothing to create the game. Apple positioned their ecosystem like a gaming console which much much friendlier terms for developers.

Everybody compares the iOS ecosystem to a desktop computer, but everybody ignores the pre-iPad Kindle days and the game console overlords. These magazine publishers have been selling our personal information for years and still charging for their crap magazines. FT is apparently especially greedy when it comes to subscriptions and still wants your personal data to sell in a secondary market.

Congrats to FT for making a webapp -- good for them. But I feel no pity for them for having Apple pull their iPad app. Business is business, they've put their money on red, now its just a question of whether or not the ball is going to land on black most of the time. Apple seems to think so and seems to think the AppStore is worth the premium. For many that may be the case, for those that can swing a webapp and deal with the degraded experience, then go for it. If Apple is wrong, then their terms will change. If they are right then it would be just one more way they have been right.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thegoldenmackid Avatar
123 months ago

That's one way to encourage use of HTML5.


Amen. How long before the next FT story on something going on at Foxconn.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BC2009 Avatar
123 months ago

Good for them. 30% saved, and a bit more freedom to do what they like.

HTML5 finally gets used against Apple!

They could care less about the 30% given the margins on digital subscriptions -- they want the customer data. Apple gives them the customer info providing the customer opt-in. Apple just wants the right to give its customer's the option so they are not violating their privacy policy which is a contract with the customer. How horrible of them, huh?



As noted this has nothing to do with the 30%. it has everything to do with collecting subscriber data. If apple gave them that they would give up 50% of the subscription.

I think you are right. If Apple were to modify their privacy terms and just fork over our personal data to publishers then the publishers would gladly give up 50% of the subscription fee -- think about, today their margin on printed copy has to be incredibly low, with digital delivery they have tons of wiggle room on the price.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Winni Avatar
123 months ago

because Apple don't provide the Devices on which the Financial Times gains new subscribers, the tools to build the app, the App Store to advertise the App to potential customers, the Servers to store the App.

The FN paid someone to make them an App, but now refuse to pay Apple to Sell their App to customers? next they'll refuse to allow Stores to sell their Papers for a profit, and you'll blame the Store for not selling them?

Sure. Everybody should pay Microsoft for allowing them to write software for Windows. And while we're at it, the Open Source community should wire a monthly donation to Linus Torvalds for creating the Linux kernel. Also, I think that Deutsche Telekom should get a 30% cut on all deals that telemarketers make while calling their customers. And Ford is entitled to a 30% charge from all gas stations on the planet whenever a Ford car is refueled.

I wonder why people are still coming up with that chain of nonsense arguments.

Try selling those fancy iGadgets to somebody when there are no apps for it. The apps sell the hardware, it's not the other way around.

Also, in case you haven't noticed it, the customers BOUGHT the iPads from Apple and Apple CHARGES for accepting an app to their store. In other words: Apples was already paid TWICE. If the developer subscription fees do not wash enough money into Apple's pocket, then they can increase that fee - and risk that developers run away. If they don't want to ship free apps in their store, then they can change that rule as well - and again risk that their developers run away.

But when Financial Times or anybody else delivers content from THEIR servers to the iPad - guess what - then Apple does NOTHING for that. The content is delivered over the Internet, and both Financial Times and their customer pay their respective ISPs for that service. Where is Apple in that picture and their magical right to ask for a 30% fee for something they did NOTHING for? Right. Nowhere. It's ridiculous to think that Apple deserves any payment for simply existing but that is exactly what Apple is doing.

But you probably also hate Amazon for having found the perfect answer to Apple's ridiculous demands.



----------

As one well-versed in HTML 5 technologies they will never touch native application performance, scalability, and scale of complexity options.

Maybe. Personally, I found nothing to be wrong with Amazon's online version of the Kindle reader and I think it is a perfect proof of concept that you don't need a native app just to provide reading functionality on a mobile device.

After all, that is what HTML and its siblings were made for.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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