Last year, the Financial Times, a major business newspaper, announced it would discontinue its iOS app in favor of an HTML5 based web app. The move was in response to Apple's requirement that it get a 30% cut of any subscription sold through iTunes, as well as Apple's refusal to pass along the personal information of subscribers without their permission.
The FT's sleek HTML5 web app has been very well received. The FT said it had no difficulty driving users to the mobile app, noting that "the world outside the App Store is not cold and desperate."
Though the FT's native iOS app continued working for customers who had already downloaded it, that support will be discontinued as upgrades the FT is making over the next month will render the app unusable, according to PaidContent.
It is taking the step because only a relative handful of users remain and because it can no longer continue to maintain features inside the app.
The HTML5 web app has been a success for the Financial Times, with mobile accounting for 12% of new paid subscriptions and 19% of FT.com web traffic.
Top Rated Comments
I just wish there was a way to search and copy/paste. There is no reason for not having search in electronic media and if the copy/paste is missing due to piracy concerns, that is exceptionally dumb, as I can copy the text of every article easily from their website.
Then you probably understand the free market: Apple charge an awful lot for their "services" when you're talking about repeat subscriptions. Therefore the market has come up with alternatives which don't include paying "Apple tax".
It's nice to see HTML5 being used in such a way.
We seem to forget that apple supports HTML5 and web apps were actually forced on them by the community. They prefer an ecosystem where they can focus on building great products. The 30% covers their expenses including maintaining service and credit card fees. If FT has their own customer base then this is the best move for them. Many Apple Developers benefit from the millions of consumers who would have never heard of them or their service if they were not in the Appstore. Its a simple but effective concept. Apple invest millions in advertising their store, they maintain and support it, including backups and re-downloading to many devices.
FT will now do everything themselves and the cost to match the level of service will not be cheap, but they will have access to the data on their customers they want.
Get your facts straight, fool!
It's a zero-sum game. FT isn't on the App store, it means Apple doesn't have to spend money to maintain their "storefront." The App store was never created to make money for Apple. FT obviously saw "success" after a year. But they also spend money maintaining their "storefront." Their biggest reason for moving was user data for advertising dollars.