Readability, a service that strips ads and other web junk from stuff published online, just had their app rejected from the App Store, victim to Apple’s exceedingly unreasonable subscription policy for iOS. Don’t worry, small developers of the world, Apple will be making you say “Uncle”, too!
Here’s the gist of things: Apple’s now requiring subscription-based apps to offer those subscriptions through a new iOS API and taking 30% of the money from those subscriptions for themselves. Readability is built on a model that gives 70 per cent of service fees back to writers and publishers. Carving 30 per cent of out of that just doesn’t make sense.
The team isn’t mincing words about their frustration in a letter posted on their blog:
Before we cool down and come to our senses, we might as well share how we’re feeling right now: we believe that your new policy smacks of greed. Subscription apps like ours represent a tiny sliver of app sales that represent a tiny sliver of your revenue. You’ve achieved much of your success in hardware sales by cultivating an incredibly impressive app ecosystem. Every iPad or iPhone TV ad puts the apps developed by companies like ours front and centre. It was a healthy and mutually beneficial dynamic: apps like ours get exposure and you get to show the world how these apps make your hardware shine.
Adding to the grossness of it all, Apple uses Readability’s software in Safari. For now, they’re saying they’ll focus on developing Readability for the web. But as more developers get screwed and speak up, hopefully Apple will be forced to rethink their 30 per cent tithe. [Readability via TechCrunch]