Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

Summary: I have been using my iPad less frequently recently, but have hesitated selling it. That changed today with Apple's new policy for subscriptions, as I have no desire to give Apple 30 percent of those fees to Cupertino.

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TOPICS: Apple, iPad, Mobility
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I like Apple products, but I don't patronize them exclusively. I am a firm believer in embracing the technology that does what I need, and I like spreading my money around to keep things even. I bought an iPad when it was first released as I knew it would fit my needs at the time. Late last year I grabbed a smaller tablet that has fit my lifestyle better, and even though the iPad is used less frequently, I hesitated to sell it because I like it. That changed today with Apple's new policy for subscriptions, as I have no desire to give Apple 30 percent of those fees to Cupertino. My iPad is now for sale.

I won't rehash the policy as you can find it all over the web, but in a nutshell Apple is forcing all companies that sell subscriptions on iOS devices to give them 30 percent of the loot. That's significant as subscriptions are not the same as app sales, they are ongoing and often auto-renewed when the subscription period ends. That means Apple can get a healthy cut of each company's fees ad infinitum.

I like good software, services and subscription content and enjoy rewarding the companies that produce them with my subscription cash. I have a real problem with a company that is simply providing another vehicle for that content to take such a healthy cut, and deny alternate methods of selling the content to the providers.

I pay Pandora for my music subscription because it is a great service, not because it's available on the iPad. I listen to it everywhere, on all my mobile devices. The same is true of my Kindle ebook library, I buy it because I can read it on anything. I will not give Apple 30 percent of the cost of those ebooks.

So Apple convinced me to sell my iPad, which I intend to do shortly. I won't miss it, the control Apple is exerting over partners (and they are partners) made up my mind. I won't be getting an iPad 2, either. I'll still use some Apple products, but only those I need to get work done.

Topics: Apple, iPad, Mobility

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  • RE: Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

    How much are you selling this for? Since you are ranting so much about it, let me guess - $99 including shipping. Please count me in and provide me your personal email id and we can continue our discussion there. I was looking for a cheap iPad before the second version launches... I am really really glad you are selling yours
    browser.
  • RE: Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

    Not that cheap for sure. You can contact me via the contact form above.
    JamesKendrick
    • Is this ethical?

      @JamesKendrick Are you implicitly using your position as a blogger to conduct a private transaction: selling your unwanted gadget to a captive audience?

      It's fine if you tell us why, or how, you are selling your iPad. I just don't think this is an appropriate forum for actually doing so.
      Tech watcher
      • RE: Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

        @Tech watcher

        I think it's called "calling his (the commenter's) bluff".
        john.lemme
      • Captive? You can leave if you want.

        @Tech watcher
        Plus, he didn't make any special offer to his readers, he's saying thru the contact form above.
        Would it be different if he bought ad space here?
        AllKnowingAllSeeing
      • This isn't "Mobile News"...it's Mister Kendrick's own clearinghouse site

        James Kendrick is a blogger who writes under the "Mobile News" banner. People presume to read his blogs for latest information and commentary on mobile tech. <br><br>Now this blog has also become his private garage sale for his gadgets. There is no charge for him: he didn't have to buy ad space. His readers here are tech enthusiasts who are likely to be interested.<br><br>We read here all the time about how companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google use their dominant positions in tech to skew trade unfairly in their favor. This abuse of journalistic integrity seems like that, on a small yet noticeable scale.<br><br>And why do we need him, when Matthew Miller has been doing a much better job here on ZDNet long before him?
        Tech watcher
    • RE: Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

      @JamesKendrick
      James you actually offended me with your evil anti-business attitude. I am going to make sure from now on that if i see an article with your name on it, i wont click it.

      The fact that you would pay $1 for something conditionally based on who gets that $1 makes me think you are another geek Apple hater with nothing worth living for in life.

      So you pick something succesful, like Apple, then you bash it for using basic business principles. That is the typical hallmark sign of a loner loser in life... Just live to find negativy in this world.

      But its true, its lonely at the top and the fact that Apple is soo succesful and makes most other companies look like a worthless pile of excrem*ent makes for journalists like you.
      Bay Area CA Male
      • Anti-business attitude = drawing certain limits?

        @Bay Area CA Male

        Maybe he simply doesn't like subscription hijacks -- or 30% surcharge clips, whether based on principle or practicality - or both. As I see it, both angles seem rather hefty (excessive + questionable) when weighed out.

        Good for Apple perhaps (loot is loot, right?), but good for their customers? Ha! You tell me.
        klumper
      • OH...MY...GOD!

        @Bay Area CA Male <br><br>You're not going to read this guy's articles? Holy sh*t! I'm on the phone right now with a bunch of my friends, and I'm going to email my family as soon as I get off this thread.<br><br>What is this author going to do now that you have refused to read his articles? How will his family eat? He's probably going to lose his home when the bank hears that he's lost you as a reader.<br><br>How do you live with yourself?
        trickytom3
      • RE: Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

        @Bay Area CA Male
        Are you actually offended because your Apple stock will not increase based on his buying/selling decisions?

        I truly don't get you fanatical Apple fanbois. The only logical explanation for your ever-defensive postings of all things Apple is that you personally have something to lose by people having less-than-flattering opinions of Apple actions. I must therefore assume that the never ending rants are directly in defense of your Apple stock.

        Perhaps I am wrong, and please do correct me if I am honestly wrong... I just don't understand it. I am an Android and Linux fan; but I have no personal stake in them, and I can accept when they do things that are wrong or that I don't agree with. Why is it so hard for an Apple fanbois to do so, or is it just true that Apple absolutely can do no wrong???
        NetAdmin1178
      • Why so anti-consumer?

        @Bay Area CA Male
        So its fine for Apple to make lots of money, but bad for someone like James Kendrick to want to save money.

        Next you'll be complaining about all those anti-business people who bought Priuses because now they're depriving gas station operators from making a living.
        AllKnowingAllSeeing
  • RE: Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

    In that same press release, Apple said that developers can still offer digital subscriptions for sale *outside* of apps (provided the same option is available within the app for purchase there). So developers still have a way to avoid giving 30% of that revenue to Apple.

    You don't even mention this fact in your article. While it may not have factored into your decision, at least mention it since Apple is not forcing in-app purchases as the *only* sales outlet for developers as your article claims.

    Also, while I agree that Apple can be draconian in many ways, I think your decision to sell your iPad based on this alone is a bit premature. Why not wait to see how content providers respond first? It could very well turn out that you never have to see Apple get 30% of your subscriptions to Pandora or anything else in the end.
    leelu85
    • RE: Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

      @leelu85 [i]In that same press release, Apple said that developers can still offer digital subscriptions for sale *outside* of apps (provided the same option is available within the app for purchase there). So developers still have a way to avoid giving 30% of that revenue to Apple.[/i]

      So you're saying Apple will be nice enough to let you get the subscription without paying the Apple tax.. just not in the app... where it should be... how nice of them.
      Badgered
      • RE: Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

        @Badgered Why are you feeling sorry for them? You wanna know why they are really upset? It's not the 30% (after all, Apple are doing ALL the heavy lifting of collecting the money, providing the infrastructure).

        No the reason they are so upset is because they don't get your contact details (you actually have to opt-in for that). They used to get all that info which they sold (your name, email address, phone number, address whatever they could get their mitts on) all that to pretty much anyone. This is why they are actually upset. Do you actually as a customer WANT that to happen?! (Without your knowledge or consent)

        But no, you go on bashing Apple, forget they are protecting you, that they actually want to improve your experience (sure so they can sell you more devices, but improve is still improve). It makes you happy. Go for it.
        jeremychappell
    • RE: Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

      @leelu85 As I stated, I am no longer using the iPad much and this pushed me over the edge. While it's true content providers can sell product outside of the app without giving Apple a cut, they cannot link in the app to such sales. That makes it no longer possible to buy Kindle books by launching the in-app browser session. Apple also states that providers must sell content outside the app for the same price they sell it in-app, which is ridiculous without a 30% cut.
      JamesKendrick
      • RE: Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

        @JamesKendrick Never mind they don't need to provide the infrastructure to handle these "in app" sales...

        What they are really worried about is not getting your details to sell on to third parties...

        But you spin it as you like - whatever get's those pageviews right?
        jeremychappell
    • RE: Apple's subscription policy convinced me to sell my iPad

      @leelu85
      What developers can also do is cancel the ability for subscriptions outside the app. The developers can also change the content that's available to iPad/iPhone customers and charge whatever they want for those services that are 'essentially' the same. If they can prove that they are different, it would be perfectly legal.

      Apple seems to be in trouble here, else they would not have implemented this. They are trying to subsidize the "low price" of the iPad by strong-arming developers for that 30%.
      hoaxoner
      • Seriosuly????

        @hoaxoner
        Hey where is this strong aring coming from???

        Nobody is forcing these publishers to work with Apple.
        Let these publishers go to Android where NOBODY pays for ANYTHING!!!!
        These guys want to work with Apple because we are the afluent tech gadget users and can afford to pay for content.
        If it werent for Apple and the platform the ipad delivers, these guys would not eve have that initial 70% to enjoy.
        In fact many of these publishers would go broke, go out of business withint the next few years... So they shold be lining up to give Apple 30%.

        The problem is that Americans have become soooo damn greedy that we feel everything we see and touch is our!!!!!

        Take $1 million in revenue... 30% goes to Apple, then $700,000 goes to the publisher.... Are you telling me this dollar figure is not big enough? Or are you telling me that dollar figure could be higher and so a revolt against Apple is in order?

        Some of you people out there are so logically challenege that all you do is fish for headlines baching Apple!!!
        And shame on this author too.
        He is a prime example of the Geek world who hates on Apple.
        Bay Area CA Male
      • Seriously???? to both of you

        @hoaxoner
        Sure, take away the option to make your content available through other avenues (competing mobile platforms, general Internet browsing, etc) and raise your charge to the consumer to make up for the "Apple tax". Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Otherwise, you can ramp up your prices in general to make up for the 30% tax, and over charge your customers coming through the other avenues (since the Apple in-app price must match or be less). Either way, it sucks for consumers, and it's BS the devs shouldn't put up with. The smart thing is to pull your app.

        @Bay Area CA Male (aka Apple fanbois)

        "If it werent for Apple and the platform the ipad delivers, these guys would not eve have that initial 70% to enjoy.
        In fact many of these publishers would go broke, go out of business withint the next few years... So they shold be lining up to give Apple 30%." - Apple is the savoir to these guys, right? What you fail to mention is that the profit margins on many of these subscription services are razor thin (sometimes teen % or less), taking 30% puts them in the red. And when Apple takes that 30%, its all profit; it doesn't cost them anymore to host an app with a subscription service than it does to host one without - in fact, it is most likely less as sub-based apps pull most content from their own servers rather than being hosted within the app on Apple's. What the dev receives from a subscription purchase is both profit AND content costs. And seriously, many (if not most) of these content providers have been around much longer than the iDevice apps they've released; I somehow doubt not having their app on Apple would kill them.
        NetAdmin1178
    • He's right!!!

      @leelu85 you should not sell it for this reason alone, you should sell it because it sucks shit!
      slickjim