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Gruber's Take on Apple's In-App Subscription Policies

posted Mar 2, 2011, 8:11 AM by Dan Luk

BY GARY NG ON MARCH 2ND, 20111

Apple introduced new in-app subscription policies that have caused quite a stir in the publishing world. We questioned whether the new model will succeed or fail, but at the end of the day consumers will decide. New competition is coming from Google’s One Pass that will undercut Apple’s 70/30 revenue split.

John Gruber from Daring Fireball breaks down the following arguments against Apple’s new policies:

Apple should be taking less, perhaps far less, than 30 percent.

Apple should not require subscription-based apps to use the in-app subscription APIs. If it’s a good deal for publishers, they’ll choose to use the system on their own.

Apple should not require price-matching from subscription offers outside the app. Publishers should be allowed to charge iOS users more money to cover Apple’s cut.

Apple should consider business models that simply can’t afford a 70/30 revenue split.

Gruber makes some interesting points, and compares the App Store to a shopping mall:

…Apple sees the entire App Store, along with all native iOS apps, as an upscale, premium software store: owned, controlled, and managed like a physical shopping mall. Brick and mortar retailers don’t settle for a single-digit cut of retail prices; neither does the App Store.

It’s classic Gruber, and an interesting read nonetheless. Check it out here.

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