Legacy apps must comply with Apple's App Store subscription rules by June 30
According to Digital Daily, publishers were sent a memo earlier this year to let them know they must offer content or subscriptions for purchase within their App Store application, providing Apple with a 30 percent cut. Apple has claimed that the rule has always existed, but is now being enforced, which led to the rejection of Sony's eBookstore.
"For existing apps already in the App Store, we are providing a grace period to bring your app into compliance with this guideline," the letter to publishers from Apple reads. "To ensure your app remains on the App Store, please submit an update that uses the In App Purchase API for purchasing content, by June 30, 2011."
That means applications like Amazon Kindle, Hulu+, and Netflix now have less than four months to add an in-app purchasing option to their App Store software. And for those content providers, Apple will take a 30 percent cut of all sales made within the application.
AppleInsider reached out to Amazon on Tuesday for comment, but has not received a response.
Apple on Tuesday officially unveiled its new App Store subscription service for iOS devices. It allows publishers of content-based applications to charge recurring fees to customers.
But Apple also said that software may not include links to external websites to purchase content or subscriptions. Publishers will, however, be able to sell digital subscriptions on their websites, or provide free access to existing subscribers. Apple would not be involved in that exchange and would not take a cut, but publishers would be required to provide their own authentication process inside the iOS software.
But if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of their iOS application, the same subscription must be made available at the same price or less to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app.
"All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement.
Before it was even formally announced, Apple's subscription offering for iOS drew the ire of some content providers, who feel that Apple's 30 percent cut of transactions is unreasonable. Peter Kafka of MediaMemo reported on Tuesday that major publishers like Time Inc. are unlikely to flock to the iPad's new subscription offering, and instead are more likely to work with other platforms like Google Android.