Apple (AAPL) Tightens up its policy on in-App and Subscription Payments

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has contacted publishers of newspaper and magazine style Apps who use the App Store, and clarified its existing Terms and Conditions, explaining that their interpretation of the existing publisher / developer agreement is that all in-app payments should be carried out through Apple’s iTunes infrastructure after the 31st of March, or their products will be rejected.

This is no doubt to bring all published media going through the App Store in line with each other, and to ensure Apple get their 30% cut of these transactions.

Apple rejected Sony’s eBook app earlier this week, using this clarification as the reason, and it remains to be seen what action they will take against other large digital publishers who have apps on iTunes, and have yet to fall foul of this clarification.

The Wall Street Journal already has an app which uses its own payment system to process iPad transactions, as do Pearson PLC’s Financial Times and Zinio – who sell a great number of magazines through their digital-newstand app.

AAPL has not confirmed that those apps, or whether Amazon’s Kindle app or Barnes & Nobles’s Nook app will be affected. Those last two don’t allow any purchases in their apps, but they do allow users to download content they have bought outside of Apple’s eco-system.

Do you think Apple’s “clarification” is understandable? Or is it a little greedy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…

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