Apple Kills Financial Times App For In-App Subscription Non-Compliance

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has removed the Financial Times app from the App Store after the FT refused to acquiesce to Apple's updated guidelines regarding in-app subscriptions.


    Instead, the FT launched a well-regarded HTML5 web app in June, designed specifically for the iPad and iPhone, to provide a similar service to the now-defunct app. An email announcing the switch said the "new app is now the focus of our development efforts and we'll be adding a series of new features, including special reports, over the coming months."

    PaidContent notes that 10 percent of new digital subscriptions to the FT were taken out on the iPad. However, the publisher felt that owning data about its customers was more important to it than Apple's 30 percent cut of subscription fees.

    Article Link: Apple Kills Financial Times App For In-App Subscription Non-Compliance
  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
  3. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Amen. How long before the next FT story on something going on at Foxconn.
  4. Insatiable macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2003
    They should have killed it simply for being hideous.
  5. johncrab macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2011
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Good for Apple. The FT is a fine newspaper but it is greedy. When I was a print subscriber (at a hefty annual sum) they still wanted another $350/yr to be able to access their content on my iPad - and more if I wanted to access it from a computer as well. They also had a creepy renewal policy. If you chose to cancel, you had to do so before the renewal anniversary date (and there was no reminder notice) and then you lost all access from that point on. Otherwise, you were considered to have agreed to an automatic extension at that inflated price and could not cancel or complain to a credit card company. I found this set of policies to be egregious, officious and just plain greedy so I dropped all of my FT subs and carried on with The Economist which offers FREE iPhone and iPad access to print subscribers. Getting an honest fee for good content is fine, but the FT is greedy and that auto renewal thing (the way they implement it) is unethical. Kudos to Apple for slamming the seat down on them! :)
  6. 2 Replies, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011

    2 Replies macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2010
    Are you talking about the app, or the iPad?
    Because either way I agree. ;)

    Greedy? Probably. But WTF is with giving props to Apple for it?
    Apple takes a 1/3 cut on content they had no part in creating.
    If anyone should be called 'greedy' it's Big-N-Fruity there.
  7. Lukeyy19 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2010
    England, UK
    because Apple don't provide the Devices on which the Financial Times gains new subscribers, the tools to build the app, the App Store to advertise the App to potential customers, the Servers to store the App.

    The FN paid someone to make them an App, but now refuse to pay Apple to Sell their App to customers? next they'll refuse to allow Stores to sell their Papers for a profit, and you'll blame the Store for not selling them?
  8. tlevier macrumors regular


    Jun 7, 2010
    Littleton, CO
    I'm actually glad FT did this. This world will do great things with competition. Route 1) Utilize Apple's ecosystem and give them a cut.
    Route 2) Do it yourself.

    I'm happy Apple has embraced the open standards of HTML5 and that companies are realizing that they can program their **** for everyone and not just 1 platform. For some things, an App will be better, but for others, a Web App works just as well.

    FT may have put some resources in converting into HTML5, but now they have an app that works on every mobile OS that has a browser with HTML5 compatibilities.
  9. The Past macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2004
    I am with FT on this. There is no contest. FT is a superior product and there is no need to stand in line with apps with cute birds in them. It is sad that Apple continues to insist on a one-size-fits-all model. All the iPod sales have gone to its head and it is repeating the same mistakes.
  10. mdriftmeyer macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2004
    Pacific Northwest
    It's about time.


    As one well-versed in HTML 5 technologies they will never touch native application performance, scalability, and scale of complexity options.
  11. chameleon81 macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2006
    You can also see it the other way around. Apple sells iPhones because of the apps. (I know it isn't the only factor but it is one of the biggest factors)
  12. Wyvernspirit, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011

    Wyvernspirit macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002
    Although there is some truth too it, apple did sell iPhones before the app store or even "web apps." not sure that would still stand true, although if they hadn't created the app store maybe the app craze would not have occurred. Just a thought.

    Apple still allows people to work outside their ecosystem, they are just more limited. It is up to the developer to decided which system works for them.
  13. chameleon81 macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2006

    Yes I agree with you that apple's success does not only rely on appstore but it gives apple a huge competitor advantage and makes entry into the market hard. ( every review about another mobile operation systems has number pf applications section)

    I also agree that some cut for small developers is not a bid deal hence they get much more in terms of marketing and visibility but FT does not require Apple's marketing. If you subscribe FT you most likely know what it is what kind of news they cover etc.

    Plu,s can you imagine having similar system on your computer ? Imagine Apple or Windows asking developers to pay 30 cut whenever you install sth on your machine? Isn't it the eco system they created? What makes an mobile operating system so different?
  14. andrewlgm macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2011
    Apple's taking 30%, and you're talking about greed?
  15. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Buh-bye FT.

    Get into compliance and you can get back on to the hottest mobile devices in the industry (whatever runs iOS.) You need Apple to stay relevant, like most of your kind do.

    Pretty simple.
  16. MattInOz macrumors 68030


    Jan 19, 2006
    Only for new customers they generate.
    Much like the newsagent gets paid for your subscription if your buy it at their store.
  17. BC2009 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2009
    I'm weary of hearing how greedy Apple is because they want a 30% cut. Amazon dictated horrible terms to publishers with Kindle before iBooks came along with an agency model. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft XBox demand far more than a 30% cut for each game sold on their console platforms despite the fact they did nothing to create the game. Apple positioned their ecosystem like a gaming console which much much friendlier terms for developers.

    Everybody compares the iOS ecosystem to a desktop computer, but everybody ignores the pre-iPad Kindle days and the game console overlords. These magazine publishers have been selling our personal information for years and still charging for their crap magazines. FT is apparently especially greedy when it comes to subscriptions and still wants your personal data to sell in a secondary market.

    Congrats to FT for making a webapp -- good for them. But I feel no pity for them for having Apple pull their iPad app. Business is business, they've put their money on red, now its just a question of whether or not the ball is going to land on black most of the time. Apple seems to think so and seems to think the AppStore is worth the premium. For many that may be the case, for those that can swing a webapp and deal with the degraded experience, then go for it. If Apple is wrong, then their terms will change. If they are right then it would be just one more way they have been right.
  18. Moyank24 macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2009
    in a New York State of mind
    They also had a lot less competition before the App store was created. Their App store definitely could be a deal breaker for somebody deciding between Android or iOS.
  19. Goldenbear macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Los Angeles

    I find it very sad that so many people simply can't understand the fact that 30% commission is NOT unreasonable to these companies. The publishers that are refusing to use in-app purchasing are, in the vast majority of cases, doing so because Apple won't automatically hand over customer data... NOT because of the 30% cut.

    "However, the publisher felt that owning data about its customers was more important to it than Apple's 30 percent cut of subscription fees."

    The ridiculous thing is, Apple isn't refusing to give them the customer data. Apple is simply requiring that the customer OPT-IN.

    OMG, how terrible of Apple to try and put the consumer in (some) control of who gets their information! :rolleyes:
  20. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_4 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8K2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    As noted this has nothing to do with the 30%. it has everything to do with collecting subscriber data. If apple gave them that they would give up 50% of the subscription.
  21. CaptainCannabis macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I have the web app bookmarked on my desktop and it's a rockage, it's the most outstanding web app I've ever seen, by far.

    And the only greedy ones here are Apple, who don't know what to do in order to sniff out more gold from the ground with their Jewish noses. Modifying their agreements to take 1/3 of in apps subscriptions revenue is the most pathetic form I've theft I've seen by them (now that I think about it, they've found a way to make theft legal... Pathetic apple, pathetic).
  22. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2010
    London, UK
    The second sentence of the article does go on to say: "Instead, the FT launched a well-regarded HTML5 web app in June, designed specifically for the iPad and iPhone". I find it hard to imagine that anyone who is going to effectively spend almost $200 every year on an app(*) would learn about it by stumbling across it in the app store and wouldn't be aware of the FT beforehand and, if they also owned an iOS device, that they wouldn't also know that an app to provide iPad and iPhone access is available on the iPad via the FT web site.

    It'll be interesting to see if other publishers follow the FT's approach, the WSJ for example. It would also be interesting to see, if Apple did address some of the objections, whether the FT would come back to the app store. I'd prefer a well coded native app but I worry that corporate stubborness on either side could prevent any return to an app store app.

    - Julian

    (*) because the app is free but only becomes really useful with a $3.59/week or higher subscription.
  23. spazzcat macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2007
    And they will still sell phones with everything was html5. Remember the first iPhone didn't have apps...
  24. Wyvernspirit macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002
    Here Here!
  25. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    No, they won't. If the world moves to HTML5 and other web technologies, then Apple will lose. Android is worse for native apps, but it's already better at web apps than iOS is.

    How anyone can think this is good news for iOS is beyond me.


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