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Bryan M. Wolfe
| February 21, 2011
Apple’s New Subscription Rule Brings Down Another Developer Who Decides To Fight Back
First Sony tried to bring its e-book service to iDevices as an app, which Apple promptly rejected, because it didn't use the company's new subscription model. Now, Apple has killed another potential app because it didn't use the iTunes billing service, and thus denied Apple its required 30 percent cut. Designed by Arc90, Readability strips ads and other distractions from articles found online using the Safari web browser, making them easier to read. Its creators hoped to release an iOS app, which would provide similar functionality for iDevices. Unfortunately, Apple rejected the app. According to Rich Ziade, founding partner of Arc90, in an open letter to Apple posted on his company’s blog:
We’re obviously disappointed by this decision, and surprised by the broad language. By including “functionality, or services,” it’s clear that you intend to pursue any subscription-based apps, not merely those of services serving up content.He goes on to say something that many have thought, but few were willing to say in public; that Apple’s new policy is greedy:
Before we cool down and come to our senses, we might as well share how we’re feeling right now: we believe that your new policy smacks of greed. Subscription apps like ours represent a tiny sliver of app sales that represent a tiny sliver of your revenue.Houston, we’ve got a problem. It’s clear not everyone is willing to give Apple a 30 percent cut just to get their app in the App Store. Unfortunately, unless a compromise is reached, between Apple and publishers, the App Store could look a whole lot different come July 1. This is when Apple begins enforcing its subscription rule for existing apps too. This could spell the end of some of the more popular apps in the App Store, including the Amazon Kindle, Hulu Plus, and Netflix apps, which don't use the iTunes billing system. Simply put, Apple wanting a 30 percent cut of everything is greedy. Apple has nothing to do with the continued delivery of a subscription service, so why should they get such a large piece of the pie? Sure they provide the store, but is that worth 30 percent? Don’t be surprised if the words “Apple” and “greed” remain linked until this issue is resolved. What do you think? Leave your comments below.