Financial Times app pulled from iOS after compliance dispute

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.

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TOPICS: Mobile OS, Apple
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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.

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Topics: Mobile OS, Apple

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11 comments
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  • RE: Financial Times app pulled from iOS after compliance dispute

    FT is a good paper and guess what? It still exists on my XOOM!

    All the fans can say what they want but this is hurting them in the long run and it is the #1 reason why I will not buy another iPad. Policies like this will end up hurting Apple.
    slickjim
    • RE: Financial Times app pulled from iOS after compliance dispute

      @Peter Perry

      ....<i>it is the #1 reason why I will not buy another iPad.....Policies like this will end up hurting Apple. </i>

      Been hearing statements like these for over a decade now (started with iPod + iTunes and how their "closed" policies were doomed). Yet Apple continues to march on. Even surpassing Exxon Mobil to becoming the most valuable company in the world. $70 billion in the bank. What gives?
      dave95.
  • Bizarre

    I really can't understand Apple's thinking, they make the subscription up to 30% more expensive than doing it directly (depending on merchant fees etc.), yet won't let the provider charge more for the subscription to compensate for the increased cost.

    It can hardly come as a surprise, that most content providers look elsewhere.

    For apps, where it is a one off fee and the app isn't available anywhere else and there is no other way to get content onto the device, there isn't much competition. But for eBooks and periodicals, which have other, cheaper outlets, it never made any sense - other than to Apple, obviously.

    The webapp makes much more sense to the providers, because they only have to write it once and any (most) smartphones and tablets can access it.
    wright_is
  • RE: Financial Times app pulled from iOS after compliance dispute

    I really wish Amazon wouldn't have catered to this crap. Good for the NYT. Why let Apple walk all over you? Do people really love them that much? "Industry Darling" be damned.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • I do not know who to root for

    Financial Times has never missed an opportunity to bash Israel. I cannot say that I will begrudge Apple on this one. I wonder how FT feels to be on the wrong side of a boycott.
    Your Non Advocate
  • RE: Financial Times app pulled from iOS after compliance dispute

    One of the advantages of using native apps over the web <strike>apps</strike> (aside from it being much faster) is you can access the content even when there's no 3G or wifi. It downloads/caches all the content natively for quick easy access, whereas with HTML 5 web sites <strike>apps</strike>, you need to be connected first. Not sure how FT is getting around this.
    dave95.
    • Not entirely true

      @dave95.
      The Kindle HTML 5 web app will let you read books offline.
      toddybottom
      • So....it all depends on how the app is written

        @toddybottom

        @dave95 should have stated that one advantage that apps which download content over on-line only apps...

        The Kindle apps reads from the local file system.
        Your Non Advocate
      • RE: Financial Times app pulled from iOS after compliance dispute

        @toddybottom

        Fixed. I meant native apps verses HTML 5 web only content like <i>app.ft.com</i>. I can't access app.ft.com on my wifi only iPad on the road without first being connected online. Whereas with the native apps, I can download/cache all the content before I travel and read offline.
        dave95.
      • Yes, was more commenting on &quot;how FT is getting around this&quot;

        "Not sure how FT is getting around this."

        They could do exactly what Amazon did with the Kindle and create an HTML 5 app which allows them to have links to their subscriptions without having to give Apple anything.

        That being said, I'm just like 99% of iOS users: I prefer native apps. The speed and fluidity of HTML 5 apps are actually quite good (the cloud reader app is amazing considering it is all HTML 5) but is still noticeably inferior to native apps. I still use the native Kindle app to read my books on my iPad even though the cloud reader app icon is right next to it.
        toddybottom
  • RE: Financial Times app pulled from iOS after compliance dispute

    Whereas with the native apps, I can download/cache all the content before I travel and read offline. <a href="http://sazkove-kancelaree.cz">sazkove tipy</a>
    marco5811