Financial Times app pulled from iOS after compliance dispute

Summary:Leading newspaper, the Financial Times, has pulled its iOS application from the iTunes App Store, amid a subscription model controversy.

The award-winning Financial Times application for iOS devices, has been pulled from Apple stores in a compliance dispute over in-app subscriptions.

No longer available in the iTunes Store, Apple said that the FT took the application down "to comply" with its new subscription terms, rolled out earlier this year.

The new subscription model caused widespread controversy. After initial confusion, the media was stumped as to what the technology giant was offering, settling on erring on the side of caution and wholly rejecting the idea.

Apple's subscription model would force developers into handing over 30 percent of the cost of any in-app purchase or subscription, in a bid to cut out the competitors.

Amazon's Kindle application was hit possibly the hardest, which relies on its own app store for users to download content from. But Amazon gritted its teeth, along with the Nook app for Barnes & Noble devices, and changed their applications to comply with Apple's new demands.

The FT, however, managed two months before the sword dropped. The leading London newspaper can now say goodbye to 10 percent of its digital subscriptions, which it collected from the iPad.

But the key figure to the FT's model is the collection of user data during the transaction process -- something it does not get when Apple processes the transaction on its behalf.

The app was separate from its web app, which attracted more traffic than its native iOS applications, according to managing director of FT.com, Rob Grimshaw.

The web app alone topped over half a million users since its launch in early June this year, and will be used as a replacement to the iOS application itself.

But the FT maintained that "iTunes will remain an important channel for new and existing advertising based apps", not ruling out a return to the iTunes App Store -- provided it can comply with Apple's house rules.

Related content:

Topics: Mobile OS, Apple

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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