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Apple alters in-app subscription terms, relaxes price controls

Apple has modified its subscription policy to remove the pricing requirement that forced content providers to sell in-app subscriptions at the same price it sells them outside the app. These older terms and conditions were supposed to go into effect on June 30, and caused a stir when they were first introduced and used to reject apps like Sony Reader from the App Store.

The older subscription terms stated:

11.13 Apps can read or play approved content (magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video) that is sold outside of the app, for which Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues, provided that the same content is also offered in the app using IAP at the same price or less than it is offered outside the app. This applies to both purchased content and subscriptions.

The new conditions, shown below, let providers set their own prices on subscriptions. Newspapers or magazines, for example, can raise the price of their iOS subscription prices to compensate for Apple's 30% cut.

The terms also make it clear that subscribed content like books, video, music and more can be sent to an iOS device as long as there is no "Buy Now" button or link within the app that lets users buy this content in a browser/outside the app. For example, Amazon can send all your purchased Kindle books to your phone as long as it does not include an in-app button to buy books directly from Amazon's website.

Here are the new terms as reported by MacRumors:

11.14 Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to buy the approved content. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app

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