The other week, Apple announced that with the upcoming changes to iOS that it would also reverse some of its stringent requirements for in-app subscription handling. Specifically, Apple removed the requirement that all subscriptions available through Apple be the same price or less expensive than ones offered outside the application. It also now allows publishers to once again offer external subscriptions, even if they don’t offer them in-app as well.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me, as I never really understood Apple’s reasoning for forcing subscription model changes. Asking publishers to change a successful multi-channel subscription model just wasn’t realistic, even for Apple. This to me is parallel to Apple’s initial requirement that all iPhone applications had to be natively built using Objective C. The company soon realized that while this approach would protect the application quality and user experience, that the trade-offs were too high in terms of limited developer adoption. They simply needed to open up additional options for building iPhone applications to ensure that there were compelling titles available to sell the hardware. (more…)