Apple Updates In-App Subscription Policies, Eases Pricing Rules

Apple has recently updated its subscription policy, eliminating the previous mandate that required content providers to offer in-app subscriptions at the same rates as those available outside the app. This change comes ahead of the initial June 30 deadline, which had previously sparked significant controversy and led to the rejection of several apps, including Sony Reader, from the App Store.

Under the old subscription guidelines, the terms were as follows:

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 revised policy now allows providers more flexibility in pricing their subscriptions. For instance, publishers can now set higher prices for subscriptions on iOS devices to offset the 30% revenue share with Apple.

The updated terms further clarify that content such as books, videos, and music can be delivered to iOS devices provided there is no direct purchase option within the app.

This means companies like Amazon are permitted to deliver Kindle books to your device without including a direct link to purchase additional books through Amazon’s website.

The new subscription terms are detailed here 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.


Justin is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the Apple news community. With a keen eye for detail, Justin covers everything from the latest iPhone releases to in-depth reviews of the MacBook Pro and Apple Watch. His insightful articles help readers stay informed about the ever-evolving world of Apple products. Justin’s expertise and approachable writing style make him a trusted voice for Apple enthusiasts everywhere.