1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

Financial Times Won't Give Apple A Cut, Drops iOS for Web App

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    #1
    [​IMG]


    The Financial Times, a major business newspaper, has decided to drop its iOS app in favor of an HTML5 based web app specifically designed for the iPhone and iPad. The move is in response to Apple's new App Store Subscription requirements that state Apple must get a 30% cut of any subscription sold on iTunes and that publications must offer subscriptions through the App Store.

    [​IMG]



    In a email to subscribers today, the FT didn't mention the App Store at all, instead touting "valuable improvements" including claims that the web app will be faster and more up-to-date. The interesting part came when the email mentioned the existing app (emphasis added):
    Actually, neither the Financial Times nor anyone else knows what is going to happen at the end of the month to subscription-based apps that don't align with Apple's App Store guidelines. The deadline for subscription based apps to roll out their offerings is June 30. Quoted in the New York Times, Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com said:
    They might not know what's going to happen if they don't play ball, but it's Apple's sandbox and the FT isn't sitting around idly. The new web app seems to be very similar to the current iOS App and thus may be able to provide a very similar experience without having to share revenue with Apple. The Financial Times' loyal readership is likely to follow the publication to its web app in significant numbers, meaning that the FT may not be missing out on much by bypassing iTunes.

    As the first major publication to drop its iOS app over Apple's subscription guidelines, the FT might just encourage other publications to make the same move. Ben Evans notes, however, that the grass isn't always greener on the other side:
    Article Link: Financial Times Won't Give Apple A Cut, Drops iOS for Web App
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    #2
    The problem with having a web-based app is that people associate the web with free content. Apps are usually different, where people expect in-app purchases, subscriptions, etc.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    #3
    Good for them. If you have the power and the will to survive without reliance on the Apple ecosystem, I say do it.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    WiiDSmoker

    #4
    Good. Hopefully Apple realize what a dickish move they are trying to make.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    #5
    Come on Apple. If you ask for 10% you'll keep your content providers and get a cut. I'm sure if you just quit pretending 30% is some sort of magic number, you'd make more money and have happier devs and customers.
     
  6. macrumors member

    #6
    I love Apple, but hope that more companies will do the same.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    #7
    I'm glad they are doing this. Apple is being a bit too greedy.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    ratzzo

    #8
    Well, I don't know... sure, they have to give 30% to Apple but at the end of the day they receive 70% and even though it's not as profitable, it surely is widespread with so many millions of iOS devices browsing the iTunes App Store, even if it's just so that it may appear on this place they will at very least get the attention they would otherwise not get.

    They most likely performed a study on whether that option was more or less viable than launching the HTML5 platform and decided to go for it. Whatever suits them, as long as the customer views the site with the same ease
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    #9
    You never read financial times online did you?
     
  10. kyeblue, Jun 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011

    macrumors member

    #10
    good for them

    newspaper that requires paid web content with solid reader bases such as WSJ and now NYT should follow. The only problem, for which I am not sure and is important to me, is if webapp offers offline reading. But I hate the idea that 30% of my subscription goes to Apple and in application purchase in general, and will make sure that all my subscription goes to newspaper.

    Apple may re-consider the universal 30% cut policy and engage in case by case negotiation. At the end, for FT and WSJ, webapp makes more sense as it eliminate the effort for making apps for different smartphone platforms. With Google Wallet or alike payment platforms, purchase through web would also be much easier.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    Phil A.

    #11
    Looks like we're going full circle: when the iPhone was first released, the only apps available were web apps. These were widely derided and Apple buckled under pressure and added native apps. Now it looks like more companies such as FT will revert to Web Apps to avoid paying Apple "their" 30% cut for subscriptions...
     
  12. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    #12
    Exactly.

    App is faster (if done right), can take offline. And there are more potential customers through the app store / itunes.

    Would you want 100% fee of 1000 customers or 70% fee of 10000 customers?
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    #13
    If you sell e-books, you have to give 70% (or more) of the sales price to the author... if Apple keeps the other 30%, you wind up with zero. See http://www.macstories.net/news/apples-in-app-purchase-policy-forces-iflowreader-to-shut-down/ for example.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    #14
    Well done FT. Business is business, but Apple has taken the App store too far, which is why they risk having a marginal user base as opposed to Android and other mobile platforms. Seems like the past is replaying itself, just how the Mac OS lost to Windows OS. Sometimes companies don't learn from their mistakes.
     
  15. Guest

    #15
    As a current FT subscriber, I say DON'T DO IT. The native iOS app is MILES ahead of this makeshift HTML5 effort, which obviously can't even keep offline content available for reading.

    I really hope they stop this BS bickering and keep the app, which has received many design awards since the debut of the iPad...no web-based initiative can replace it.

    Although the FT has the rare privilege of NOT needing to run after subscribers, given its high-end audience and quality articles, they'd better not risk losing any because of such an arrogant approach.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    spazzcat

    #16
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/534.32 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    People don't get this fact. Look at the pubs that have moved to the new model. They picked up a lot new people...
     
  17. macrumors 603

    Stella

    #17
    I used the "Toronto Star" and Global And Mail apps. These were free apps with no subscription.

    They download loaded content and cached it. If you weren't online later the apps would display what it could, and it didn't take very long to download all available content either.

    Worked very well IMO. These apps were basically native apps of the web based versions. Same content.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    #18
    FT webapp DOES work offline

    BTW the FT web app DOES work offline. It stores 1 day of news on the device itself. HTML5 is very capable, and frankly this is a smart move on their part rather than try to support a ton of different devices.

    http://apps.ft.com/ftwebapp/faq.html#3
     
  19. macrumors 68030

    baryon

    #19
    But wouldn't that allow developers to bypass Apple's 30% entirely? For example, you could get an empty shell App for free, and download content as an in-app subscription for money.

    Maybe Apple should make a special package for recurring subscriptions for magazines or something...
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    Porchland

    #20
    The iPad news and magazine apps that I regularly use provide a superior user experience to the web versions, but there's a point at which the cost to the consumer outweighs the user experience.

    I'm glad to see a major news outlet push back, and that's not a slant against Apple. This is how markets are supposed to work.
     
  21. macrumors 68030

    Gasu E.

    #21
    I highly doubt that Apple can provide that much value. The FT, the WSJ, the NYT, The Economist, etc. have built up massive reputations over many, many years. The target customer is self-identifying and knows how to find the product. Do you actually believe Apple can increase the target base by a factor of 10 for these publications?

    Now, Apple might be helpful to smaller publications that are just getting started. In that case, Apple might deserve their 30%; but the 30% should be capped at some number, for example, $100K per year.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    #22
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Deleted
     
  23. macrumors member

    #23
    If they lose less than 30% potential subscribers by this move, they win. Although I am not 100% sure, HTML5 should allow offline reading.
     
  24. macrumors member

    #24
    Ermm.. it does keep offline content no problem. I'm using it as we speak
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Kelmon

    #25
    I can appreciate the FT's position on all this but, purely from a customer perspective, I'd much rather have an application that downloads my content automatically and holds it offline since data connections seem to be notoriously spotty. You can do quite a lot with web applications these days but I'd always rather have an offline experience.
     

Share This Page