iOS App Subscription Disputes Continue to Escalate

Recent discussions have been quite fervent regarding Apple’s latest subscription payment policies. Here are some notable opinions:

  • John Gruber noted: Readability is upset because Apple holds the cards. Readability relies on Apple to distribute its app, whereas Apple does not need Readability’s services.

  • “Kontra” at counternotions commented: Apple consistently makes bold moves, and it has done so once again by eliminating middlemen and aggregators from its ecosystem.

  • Ben Brooks stated: To play on Tommy’s trampoline, you need to be his friend, which means attending his parties and following his rules. But it’s a trampoline, so it’s worth it.

  • The Cocoanetics company blog argued: If you want a share of the iOS ecosystem pie, you must abide by Apple’s rules.

    Instead of complaining, create a service or product that Apple can’t ignore.

I pose a straightforward question to these commentators.

As an owner of both an iPad and an iPhone 4, I frequently engage with numerous content apps like Kindle, Spotify, BBC iPlayer, and occasionally Netflix and Hulu when traveling in the U.S. I also use apps like Dropbox, Instapaper, Simplenote, and Flickr, where purchases outside the App Store enhance the app’s functionality.

Despite claims from emails purportedly from Steve Jobs that these apps will remain unaffected, Apple’s developer guidelines clearly state that apps using a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) for buying content, functionality, or services will be rejected. The ambiguity surrounding which apps are safe is only exacerbated by Apple’s typical silence on such matters, further fueling the FUD phenomenon.

This policy shift from Apple undoubtedly threatens the presence of some apps on the iOS platform, a sentiment echoed by both proponents and critics of the policy.

As a dedicated user of Apple’s products, I appreciate their utility. However, I’m not invested in Apple’s financial success beyond its ability to continue operations, which seems unlikely to be a concern.

To those fervently defending Apple’s new policy, I must ask: why should this make me happy? What do I, as a consumer, gain if these apps vanish from my devices?

Furthermore, if the response is that Apple has every right to profit from its platform, I understand. I wouldn’t own multiple Apple products if I didn’t enjoy using them. Apple is free to set its prices; that’s how the market works. But isn’t Apple supposed to be the most consumer-friendly company? Removing functionalities without any benefits doesn’t seem to align with that image.


Linda is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing insightful and engaging content to Apple enthusiasts. With a deep understanding of Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, Linda offers readers valuable tips, reviews, and news updates. His articles reflect a genuine love for technology and a commitment to keeping the Apple community informed. Linda’s clear and approachable writing style makes complex topics accessible, ensuring that every reader can stay up-to-date with the latest in the Apple world.