back to article Apple ejects FT app from iTunes

Apple has formally booted the Financial Times newspaper app out of the iTunes store for the newspaper's refusal to hand over 30 per cent of subscription revenues to the Mac maker. That said, FT devotees with suitable iTunes accounts can still obtain the app from iTunes Slovakia: The Financial Times app on iTunes... kind of …


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  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    ...that runs on top of the browser techology...

    And therein the obvious solution, particularly for a non-static data model such as the FT might be expected to have.

    Why build an application to handle all the data flow when there's a browser already sitting there?

    1. Fuzz


      This has been my problem with a lot of apps since the very start. You don't need an app, you need a website that targets small screen devices.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      slow slow slow

      ...because the browser technology and HTML5 on the iPad is not smooth or quick enough to provide a native-app compatible experience. Believe me...I worked on a News Int HTML5 platform which was ditched for this very reason....

      1. Tom 38

        As opposed to The Sunday Times app

        Want to read the News Review section (~20 pages)? That's a 45MB download sir. The entire paper? Somewhere approaching 600MB

        Oh, and the app will repeatedly crash when you use it. Enjoy.

        I actually saw a web ad for the ST app, claiming it was "award winning". I can only assume this is in the line of theatre reviews, it must have won the award for the most bloated buggy piece of shit on the app store.

        To be fair to NI, The Times app works very well, and doesn't require insane amounts of data to be downloaded.

    3. Jay 2


      There seem to be quite a few apps which are just grabbing stuff from the app makers own website. I guess many people feel they have to have a presence in app form rather than have people guess at pointing towards the web.

  2. Turtle_Fan

    How times change...

    One year the FT app is awarded some award for being an excellent showcase of apps in this field, and a few months later struck off and nowhere to be found.

    I still think the ft was right. 30% and exclusion from data is not just audacious but downright blackmail.

    Oh, and what became of that Murdoch's app-exclusive, quasi newspaper thingie? You don't know? Hm, neither do I .

    Content really is king.

  3. zanto
    Thumb Up

    ok, that's it.

    just hand over 30% of whatever you own to apple and let's all just get on with whatever else needs getting on with.

    1. Lewis Mettler 1

      grabbing 30% for what?

      Just exactly what is Apple doing for its 30%?

      Nothing. Excepting not blocking access to the idiots that buy Apple products. Clear and simple.

      Who needs a monopolist in the industry when you have jerkheads running Apple. The big jerk may be gone but those who remain also think they own the customer and can block services unless they are paid off.

      Not only arrogant but stupid as well.

      For a consumer using an Apple app and you have found a fool.

      1. Steve Todd

        What's Apple doing for it's 30%?

        How about providing app hosting, QC, advertising space in the app store, free/low cost development tools, a payment platform (that accepts credit, debit and high street prepay) and buyers to the seller?

        The cost to NI is next-to-nothing, a couple of $99/year dev licenses, 30% is peanuts compared to what they have to pay to sell physical print. They could have removed the direct links from the app and continued to pay Apple near zilch, but they held out and were removed. The only people who have a problem with 30% are the middle men, those companies who don't produce content but sell it on, and 30% is a good chunck of their typical margin.

        What has Apple lost? The income from developer licences is far exceeded by the cost of curating and hosting the app. A net gain for them. What have Apple users lost? Since the FT has created a replacement web app and they keep anything that has already been downloaded then nothing.

    2. John Bailey


      Laugh in their faces, and go elsewhere. Like any sane company would do.

  4. Lloyd
    Thumb Up

    Oooh, this is getting good

    I can't wait until they boot Amazon and all the other HTML 5 publications off, we can say bye bye to iTunes once and for all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Did you actually read the story or just come here to moan at apple?

      Apple is not booting html5 publications off their store. This is about the FT not wanting to pay apple 30% of it's subscriptions revenue.

      1. Swiss

        Yeah I did...

        Apple are just a bunch of restrictive c@&ts...

        Why should you only be able to do this that or the other, why should you turn over YOUR hard earned cash for an App YOU developed, why cant they withstand a little competition from Samsung...

        Makes me grrrrrrr

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          "Why should you only be able to do this that or the other"

          Erm - because it's their store and they con do whatever they please?

          Just because you don't like it - it doesn't mean it's wrong/bad for everyone else.

      2. Lloyd

        @AC - Um, yes I read the story

        I'm assuming you missed the point of it though, they've been removed for using HTML 5 to bypass Apple's 30%, precisely what Amazon and many others have already implemented, so, how long until they boot Amazon? I'm not Apple bashing by the way, I'm iTunes bashing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          The html 5 thing is irrelevant. It's the fact that the FT bypassed Apple's walled-garden-approach to charging.

          I have no idea whether Amazon do this too. If they do, then I expect them to get kicked-off too. It would be unfair to do otherwise - although since it's Apple's store they can do what they want.

          No, you were bashing Apple's enforcement of it's iTunes store rules.

  5. Jim Coleman


    So "There's an app for that" unless it's the Financial Times. That "whoosh" you can hear is the sound of subscriptions slipping through Apple's greasy fingers, as HTML5 becomes the new, FREE app store.

    Their stranglehold is starting to weaken. Watch and learn.

    1. Dr. Mouse

      "as HTML5 becomes the new, FREE app store"

      And don't forget cross-platform. Suddenly, all these "Apps" become web pages, accessible from practically any device, rather than iPhone-exclusive and locked-in.

      Seems like this will simplify things for developers...

      1. DZ-Jay

        @Dr. Mouse & @Jim Coleman

        In the meantime, the largest selling sector of apps--specialised applications and video games--will continue to dominate sales in iTunes.

        HTML5 is fine for news and some stuff, but it is not the solution to *all* applications.


        1. CD001



          HTML5 is fine for news and some stuff, but it is not the solution to *all* applications.


          No, for that you need Flash ;)

          1. Lance 3

            Or Java

            Or Java.

  6. Stephen Hunt


    I assume Apple has some stonking HTML 5 patents up its sleeve - as it seems to be pushing all content providers away from native apps and towards HTML 5 with its revenue grabbing schemes.

    1. DrXym

      More likely

      Apple will just add some arbitrary, punitive restrictions on the browser to stop HTML5 apps from sidestepping their controls in other places. For example they could limit offline storage to some swingeing amount that immediately hurts apps like Kindle or FT.

      For example they could limit local storage to 1MB (enough for any webapp right?), or perhaps 10MB total for ALL webapps to fight over. They could also strangle read / write storage speed, detune JS / HTML performance, relegate web apps icons to some remote inaccessible corner of the UI and a bunch of other measures to make HTML apps suck.

      1. M Gale

        They could do all that...

        ...meanwhile a little robot will be sat there in the other corner saying "Hi guys. No problems here!"

        Apple would have to have a collective mental breakdown and go completely stark raving bonkers to even consider making web apps run like a three-legged dog. Mind you, nothing much would surprise me. After all, forcing news sites and the likes to go for a multi-platform technology by introducing extortionate charges to their own App Store is hardly a level-headed approach. For an increasing number of people, "Not An iPhone" is either inconsequential or worse, a selling point.

        1. DrXym

          Apple doesn't do what's in the consumer's interests

          "Apple would have to have a collective mental breakdown and go completely stark raving bonkers to even consider making web apps run like a three-legged dog."

          That assumes they do what is in a customer's interest. I see no evidence that Apple has ever put the customer's interest first when it conflicts with their own.

          If subscription / service apps use HTML5 to sidestep being forced to use a service they don't need or want then Apple is going to respond. They are going to cripple web apps in various ways. Offline storage is the obvious one, but also JS execution speed, availability of fonts, media playback behaviour, memory limitations, positioning on the home page etc..

          As for Cydia (other poster) I think it would be a gas if Amazon or whoever officially supported it but I expect it's a legal quagmire.

          1. M Gale

            Crippling the web.

            And like I said in my original reply, there would be a little green robot in the other corner laughing its little head off and shouting "over here, chaps! I run at top speed!"

            Seriously, after all that noise Apple were making about running the "full" web, I imagine various manufacturers would have a field-day over such a bone-headed decision as to deliberately cripple performance of the entire World Wide Web on the iToys over a few businesses putting up websites with paywalls. I didn't say Apple WOULDN'T do it. I'd just be giggling uncontrollably if they did. As would, no doubt, various people from Google, Samsung, HTC, Sony, Archos, ZTE... you get the idea.

            Just imagine someone with a "premium" iPhone being unable to view a website or having really crappy performance, while the guy next to him with a budget no-name Droid sails ahead smoothly. What do you think their next mobile device will be? Just how brainwashed would this hypothetical person have to be to continue thinking that they have "the best"?

            In fact, I don't think "stark, raving bonkers" would even begin to describe such a decision.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        They could release their Apps through Cydia - Kindle at least would see millions of downloads.

      3. D@v3

        Are you forgetting

        That back at the start, when the original iPhone was released, there was no App Store, and the 'future' was web apps.

        Just saying.

  7. Number6

    Passing the pain threshold

    If you charge too much or apply restrictions then you encourage your customers to spend more money on developing a cheaper alternative. The trick is to keep your cost just below the level at which they decide it's worth doing this, and I guess Apple didn't quite manage that with the FT or Amazon.

  8. Whitter
    Thumb Up

    About time too.

    And so begins the end of iTunes media-app revenue model.

    1. DZ-Jay


      I don't expect Jobs (or Cook) to lose much sleep over that, since their money comes primarily from the hardware. And guess what? The FT web app can still be accessed through the iPad, so nothing lost to the consumer (except perhaps some compromise in UX due to HTML5 limitations).


  9. Morteus

    Shouldn't that be...

    30 per cent of you subs revenue are belong to us?

  10. PaulR79

    Restrictions as an excuse

    I wonder how many other apps will go down this route purely because of restrictions. Losing 30% of the revenue is quite a big chunk so I suspect that will be the main driving factor in any others doing the same. As much as I'd like to believe this is the restrictions Apple place on developers it's much more likely to be the developers seeing that they can get 100% instead of 70%.

    1. Lewis Mettler 1

      30% for nothing

      Particularly when Apple does nothing for the 30%.

      Brick and mortor stores actually buy inventory, stock it, promote it, give it shelf space, etc. Even online operations may promote a product or service.

      Apple does absolutely nothing for the 30%. Save for attempting to block access to customers if not paid off.

      Simply do not deal with idiots like Apple.

      1. krakead

        Server farms and bandwith are FREE now, apparently...

        Nothing? Really? Just how much do you think it cost to build and maintain the infrastructure to support the app store? I'm hardly the world's biggest Apple fan, but you, Sir, are an idiot if you think Apple add no value whatsoever.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @krakead - What servers? What bandwidth?

          Which one of Apple servers does an edition of the FT or an Amazon e-book pass through?

          (the correct answer is 'none')

          How much of Apple's bandwidth does the above activity use?

          (the correct answer is 'none')

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Missing the point

          Apple still take their cut for apps sold through the app store.

          This is about subscriptions which have f**k all to do with the app store.

        3. Lance 3

          Not free

          Server farms and bandwidth are NOT fee, but who is FORCING the use of their servers to provide the app store? Symbian, download the app and install, no need to use Ovi at all. Android, same thing, there is more than one store. So while the servers and bandwidth are not free, since Apple wants to control the app store, that is the price THEY pay.

    2. D@v3

      yeah, but...

      "the developers seeing that they can get 100% instead of 70%."

      so, currently a developer makes an app, sells for say, $1. from each sale, the get 70c, apple gets 30c.

      They decide to stop selling their app and move to a HTML5 web page, to stop apple getting their 30c, but now they are selling a web page, not an app, and so, they also stop getting their 70c.......

      so instead of their "100% instead of 70%" they are actually getting the same as Apple, 0% from all app sales. (as there are no longer any sales of their apps)

      for content delivery, where apple, also take 30% from in app subs, then yes, the content provider would now be getting 100% of the subs (but still be getting 0% from app sales, and what ever extra subs the sale of their app might have generated), but you don't think that's going to be the App's developer do you?

  11. AndyM
    Thumb Up

    Apple Web Apps

    Was this not the originally idea that Apple wanted everyone to do initially with first gen iPhone when there was no such thing as native Apps, Apple wanted all the apps to be web based, next came native toolkit and now we are going to revert back to Web Apps with HTML5 all good for the consumer not sure how Apple is going to make money though.

    1. Youngdog

      Ah yes but...

      ..if they planned to use the browser for this sort of thing from the start then the 30% they have been making until now has been a nice little Brucey Bonus! They will still be making their whack from the games which takes care of the development and support of the SDK. All in all it has been a nice little earner....

  12. HP Cynic

    Good stuff

    I applaud FT and hopefully soon Amazon to standing up to Apple's gouging.

  13. Anonymous Coward


    So many comments claiming Apple taking 30% is unfair. OK, so what is reasnoble ? 15% ?

    When you buy a card in a newsagent, they operate on 100% margins, sometimes much more. Retailers' margins are often obscene - however, they are not transparent.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reasnoble

      "Reasnoble"... Are you relly serius?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Yeah, that's right. Have a go at his spelling instead of replying to his comment.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          @AC 12:08

          yeah, that's right. Have a go a Stike having a go rather than posting an actual comment (or bothering with a sense of humour).

          1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


            yeah, that's right. Have a go at AC 12:08 having a go at Stike having a go rather than posting an actual comment

            (posted with a sense of humour).

            1. Anonymous Coward


              ... oh, never mind ...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            Stike's comment had no content to argue with. There is also no indication it was made in jest.

            He just ignored a comment and trolled about a spelling mistake.

            Your comment was actually funny - although completely wrong/irrelevant.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @AC 12:30 GMT

              It's a good thing you're here to set us all straight.

              FWIW Don't care if Stike's comment was meant in jest, it made me laugh. Just like the post I replied to made me cringe.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The difference is that the newsagent is offering a service by making the cards available. They are being stored in the shop after all. Apple don't store FT content or Amazon e-books. They don't have to handle the transaction either.

      A more accurate description would be buying a card from the newsagent and being mugged on the way out for an extra couple of quid by somebody completely unconnected to the whole affair.

      1. Chad H.

        But they aren't unconnected

        In this case the FT is the guy standing by the card rack selling cards and giving the store nothing in return, taking advantage of the shops' marketing and customer base whilst offering little to the shop in return

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Chad H.

          What marketing? Show me a single publication that you became aware of because of the app store. I get the distinct impression that people are aware of these products well before buying an Apple product, so this marketing argument is completely bogus IMO.

          If you really want to push that analogy the FT would not be standing in the shop. He would be the one putting an advert - the core app - in the shop window and paying for that if need be. He'd then wait at home for any responses. It's Apple's choice to offer this for free.

          All other activities are unconnected to the shop owner and whilst the shop owner would not benefit from the sales he would not be liable for the costs of what goes on after a response either. He just gets any money earned from the advert in the window. As it should be.

          1. Chad H.

            @ AC

            So those iPad ads played on TV pay for themselves?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Chad H.

              No, they get paid for by using money from iPad sales. Do keep up.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Chad H.

              The argument could also be made that the apps used in the ads help sell the ipad rather than the other way around, especially if it's more the possible to provide an app that runs on multiple types of device as these HTML5 ones do.

              This is of course unless you're seriously suggesting that Apple are running these adverts purely for the good of the developers and not as an attempt to sell more of their own product?

      2. Anonymous Coward


        Data centres cost a lot of money to build and run... they store the apps and handle the billing.

        The point is, what is reasonable ? 10% ? 5% ? 1% ?

        1. Paul RND*1000

          What is reasonable?

          It costs money to build an app, plus the ongoing cost of Apple's cut of your subs. Then you also have to have an app for at least Android, maybe even Blackberry too. Then hope that Apple don't decide to hike their percentage without warning, or Android/Blackberry decide to follow the same model, thus screwing up your carefully calculated quarterly estimates.

          It also costs money to build and run an HTML5 webapp, but you only need to do it once for all platforms and you don't have to pay a percentage to anyone. You can reasonably predict your ongoing costs to host and maintain the webapp, making the annoying beancounters happier.

          Bearing all that in mind I figure "reasonable" would be somewhere well below the point at which building it in HTML5 starts to cost less over the lifetime of the product.

        2. JEDIDIAH

          What are the actual costs?

          What are the actual marginal costs of hosting a 2M download? Really?

          Can't be much. Probably not nearly worth ANY mafia style skimming of subscription revenues.

    3. Lewis Mettler 1

      what is Apple doing for its 30%?

      Just what is Apple doing?

      Nothing at all.

      Consumers buy the iDevice. They paid for it. And they may have paid for the App as well. Or, downloaded it. But, what did Apple do? What does Apple do?

      Apple attempts to block access to the product or service unless paid off. Some racket.

      No promotion. No support. No service. Nothing that benefits the products or service.

      Should Microsoft get 30% because you used a PC to order the product or service? Should Linus get 30% simply because you used a PC? Or, laptop? Or, phone?

      Who says Apple should get anything at all?

      Google does not get 30% of the sale just because you found the item using a search.

      Apple at best is providing a means to find products and services. But, it is doing nothing to promote any product. Apple does absolutely nothing deserving of a fee.

      Does eBay take 30% of the sales price just because it listed the item?

      You have to be an idiot to use an iDevice from Apple. Pure and simple. And if you are a service provider you need to have your head examined. You have a hole in it.

      1. Tom 38
        Thumb Down

        @Lewis: try to keep the spit filled rants to a minimum

        Apple devices work simply and reliably, and can be operated by almost anyone. There is no need for ad hominem attacks on users of Apple devices just because you personally don't agree with Apple's business practices and (presumably) think that Apple kit is overpriced and too restricted*.

        In addition, it is up to the content provider to decide whether they want to offer subscriptions through Apple, or outside of Apple. The main content providers I use on iOS (Spotify, Sky, Kindle, The Times) don't pony up a penny to Apple in subscriptions, it is all handled externally.

        Finally, it is incorrect to state that Apple 'do nothing' to get their 30%. In fact, they handle all money processing, handle all subscription and subscriber information and so on.

        (FYI: Does Google get paid nothing when you click on an ad and buy the linked product? Do Ebay do auctions for free? Does PayPal do transactions for free? Some pretty crappy examples you've picked there)

        * Here's a hint: lots of people (myself included) don't give a fuck that it is locked down or slightly expensive, we just wan't it to work, have plenty of apps and not crash or be reliant on the whims of an OEM like HTC or Moto for software updates.

        I spend enough time fiddling around with computers already, I really don't need/want to be recompiling my phone's kernel.

    4. Dozy

      A more accurate analogy...

      In a shop, if you don't like the price of a card, you go elsewhere - i.e. you have a choice. That is the crucial element missing with Apple apps: you can't get them *anywhere* except the app store! In other words, it is a monopoly supplier who can dictate terms and conditions, and doesn't allow for competition.

      Until now.....

      Good on you FT: they will also probably save on building multiple versions of the app for different platforms.

      1. Chad H.

        @ Dozy

        Well.... no, not really as the App store doesn't set the price - the Developer does.

        In a shop, the shop sets the card price

        In the App Store, the card company sets the price - and since all app stores seem to run on the agency model you'd probably end up with the same price everywhere.

        But, in the App store, if you don't like the price of a card, there's another card rack from another card maker, possibly with different prices.

        There is competion for consumers between developers, but with the agency model there is never competition, from the consumer point of view (with the exception of Amazon "If we decide your app is overpriced TS" Andriod store), between app stores.

        There is however competition for Developers

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Chad H.

          Not quite: the card seller - developer - decides how much they're going to sell them to the shop, and then the shop decides how much to increase that price when they sell them on. In some cases they might even try and suggest to the shop how much to sell them for.

          The price is still in the publishers control. The only thing the shop controls is the cut they get from the final price given to the customer actually buying the item.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      There used to be an App for that

      >So many comments claiming Apple taking 30% is unfair. OK, so what is reasnoble ? 15% ?

      0% of subscriptions, 20/30% of sales seems about right to me - and it seems to the publishers leaving or never having joined the iTunes wagon [eg unlike FT, WSJ saw the issue coming and went straight to an HTML5 App].

      There are already many other publisher taxes in the iOS world, third party licenses and commissions and often just for basic libraries/API that other platforms have had for years. eg if like me you need to use text-to-speech in your iOS App, that's another 30% of Net plus additional licenses for SDK [and yes I do know iOS has a TTS API, but its private and if you use it your App is rejected] .

      >When you buy a card in a newsagent, they operate on 100% margins, sometimes much more

      Irrelevant - Apple is an extra player in your analogy - a bloke outside the door demanding 30% of what you spend on newspapers, despite having no part in their creation, printing or distribution. Nice work if you can get it.

      1. Chad H.

        @ AC 2nd September 14:13 GMT

        So lets pretend for a moment that apple do what you say, 0% on subs, 30% on sales.

        The very next day every app in the store would have a zero purchase price and a subscription instead.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Just remember....

    ...that FT also have other powers over you Apple, the odd bad article here, the odd bad one there and soon investors (who read this paper), may start getting a little twitchy...

    Is it really true that the App store could be on it's way out?

    Are forcasters really saying the bubble is over?

    Lets face it, Murdoch's Empire is not above this sort of thing, after all it "it woz us that won it"

    1. Thorsten

      ...FT has nothing to do with NI

      The Financial Times is the main competitor of the Wall Street Journal. The latter is owned by Murdoch, the former not.

  15. itssam

    ft html5 app

    Its already live and has been for a while at seems to run pretty well an all but mirrors the iOs app. The big problem i have with HTML5 apps is the offline cacheing

  16. P. Lee


    Without an app you don't get billing via itunes - that's a whole new username/password thing to burden users with (even if the business can handle it ok) - which probably means lost sales.

    Also, content might be king, but so is the presentation of value. You don't look as valuable when you're just a bookmark in someones browser, rather than a shiny icon on a shiny home screen.

    But perhaps Apple's retailing is not as useful as the corner shop - you don't get the FT pushed in front of your face when you open itunes, for example. Perhaps the additional business doesn't warrant the price.

    I hope it isn't just political.

    1. Andy 115

      Shiny Icons...

      ...are already here for web apps.

      It is as simple as the website sticking the icon they want in the root of their site (or sub-site) and namning it someting like touch_icon.png (can't recall the EXACT naming convention) and then when a user "home-screen bookmarks" a site, the icon is downloaded and has the reflections overlay added automatically by iOS, which makes it look like a pukka app.

      I believe (though I could be mistaken here) that there is also a way to have such web-aps run "browserless" i.e. they don't lauch mobile safari, but instead as their own "app" to allow better fast-app switching (instead of a seperate tab in mobile safari). Like I said, I could be mistaken on the details on this second part...

      1. Tom 38

        Shiny shiny icons

        It's all in the metadata:

        <link rel='apple-touch-icon' href='/media/logo-touch-icon.png' />

        <meta name='apple-mobile-web-app-capable' content='yes' />

        Pinned web app capable web pages are wrapped in their own browser context, so none of the chrome, address bar etc appear.

  17. Mike Bell


    Much though I enjoy my iPad and the convenience that iTunes gives me, taking 30% for doing diddly-squat sounds pretty greedy to me. If you want figures, I'd guess that most people wouldn't think about grumbling too much if it was something more like 5%.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Diddly squat? Really?

      Setting-up and running the biggest app store and advertising developers apps costs nothing does it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @anonymous corward 12:08

        Apple allow people to offer apps for free. If that free download is not financially sustainable then that's Apple's problem, and it's up to them to find a business model that works when it comes to providing the apps. They certainly shouldn't have the right to demand money from activities within the apps that have nothing to do with them and that have not involved them in any shape or form.

        And as surprising as it may be I'm sure that most people heard of Amazon e-books and the FT prior to going any where near a shiny iThingy. I challenge you to name a single publication that you know about purely because of the app store. Further perhaps you can show me the cost to Apple when the user downloads a book from Amazon or reads a copy of the FT?

      2. Craigness

        @corward 12:08

        It's pretty close to diddly squat and what they do is to their own benefit, not the benefit of developers. What would the iPhone be without apps? Advertising?!

        If you're on Android and you want an app you have a choice of market. If you're unlucky enough to have an iPhone then you have a choice of using their app store or running the risk of them bricking your phone at some time in the future. Apple forced other people out of the iPhone app market, so there's no need to give them any credit for the work they do. They could pass the work off to others if they really wanted, but then they would have to compete with markets which only took 25% of FT's money. For Apple, competition is a dirty word.

        It's good to see the iPologists hiding behind a veil of anonymity these days. They already know they should be embarrassed at protecting this operation, soon they will know not to protect it at all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          "It's pretty close to diddly squat"

          Yes. Pretty close to diddly squat, but not diddly squat. As posted before - what amount is ok to charge then? 10% or 1%, or nothing? That's up to Apple.

          "If you're on Android and you want an app you have a choice of market"

          Good luck with that. The average person can get to grips with the Apple Store - *just*.

          I have quite a few friends who have android devices now, and only one understands that he can get apps from anywhere else, or why he would want to.

          The poor buggers with the cheapo handsets/tablets would feel lucky to just have one *decent* app store, and not the manufacturer's crappy one.

          "It's good to see the iPologists hiding behind a veil of anonymity these days"

          Yeah, that's right. I'm hiding - ooooo, so all the android fanatics can't have a go at me instead :)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @AC 12:30

            "Yes. Pretty close to diddly squat, but not diddly squat. As posted before - what amount is ok to charge then? 10% or 1%, or nothing? That's up to Apple."

            How about charging for the initial download? You know, that bit that Apple is actually involved with? If Apple continue to offer the possibility of free downloads to publishers then what right do Apple have to whine about not making enough money from the apps?

            And as others have mentioned, developing apps for iGadgets is not free. First off you need a mac of some description - more profit for Apple - and secondly you need to be a paid up developer - yet more profit for Apple. And what about buying devices to test the software on too?

            Apple already manage to get quite a lot of money from developers and this is before a single app has even been published by the luckless developer!

            "I have quite a few friends who have android devices now, and only one understands that he can get apps from anywhere else, or why he would want to."

            He has the choice though. Can you say the same of iGadget users?

          2. M Gale

            Re: Alternative app stores

            The average person doesn't need to know how to install some alternative Market or anything like that. You run a web site that hosts APK files. The user needs to know how to navigate to and click on a link. In some cases they might have to go through a standardised procedure (settings->applications->click the checkbox saying 'unknown sources') for it to work, but it's hardly rocket science.

            As for people who don't understand they can get apps from anywhere else, are you sure about that? Are you sure that, say, Amazon couldn't run an advertising campaign saying "lookie, we do Android apps now"? Or "get the new SuperFooBar for Android exclusively from Amazon!" Again, not exactly rocket science. Plenty of people have Amazon accounts. All Amazon would have to do is add an "Android" category to the rest of the shop. All the Amazon "app" itself needs to do is be a glorified bookmark.

            Or are you saying that people don't know how to get Windows applications because Microsoft don't lock them into one single method of purchasing apps?

      3. thesykes
        Thumb Down

        @ac 12:08

        I would suggest that the Apple Developer fee of $99 payable each year would cover those costs quite nicely. So, whilst the app may be given away for free, it is the developer who pays the cost, whilst Apple take the annual fee for keeping the infrastructure ticking over.

        I've no idea how many active developer accounts there are, but, I'd guess all those $99 fees do add up to quite a nice chunk of cash.

        And, as for diddly squat, well yes I'd agree. Apple provide the means to download the app, at that point their involvement ends. The app dowloads content provided by the provider, over the network paid for by the user. Apple does nothing, but, wants 30% for the privelege.

        The only surprise is how many developers have handed over the cash instead of simply creating a mobile web site that can be used by any phone, regardless of what OS it is running.

    2. Lewis Mettler 1

      not just the 30% take for doing nothing

      Apple's policy prevents the service provider from offering a cheaper price through more efficient channels.

      So Apple forces the cost to ALL CONSUMERS to be increased.

      Boycott any supplier that deals with Apple on this. At least until they demand their own right to price their products and services without being restricted by Apple. Or, anyone else.

      It is not just the Apple customes that are being screwed here. All consumers are harmed by the Apple policy. And that means you.

      Providers need to exercise their right to price their products based upon the efficiently of the channel and not be prevented from selling for less elsewhere. If they do not insist upon that right, boycott them.

      Better yet, tell why you are not buying their products or services.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Lewis Mettler

        "Apple's policy prevents the service provider from offering a cheaper price through more efficient channels."

        No. Apple stops the service provider from advertising/arranging the alternative methods THROUGH IT'S OWN STORE. The service provider can do what it likes, and charge for it however they like, as long as they don't do it *IN* the Apple Store.

        If you don't like their way of doing things, then yes - don't play by their rules. It's what the FT are now doing. Good luck to them.

        I personally think 30% is too much - especially on subscriptions, but what is a fair amount? Who decides. Oh yeah - Apple do, since it's their store you're trying to sell stuff from.

  18. /dev/null


    The whole concept of a custom "app" to present web content is antithetical to the fundamental principle that the Web was founded on - to factor out content from presentation, data from code, by using a universal browser that can display content from a plethora of sources. The app paradigm reminds me of the good old days of CD-ROM multimedia, when every CD-ROM came with its own viewer software that had to be installed separately on your PC in order to access its content.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge


      Except you reach a point where HTML and Javascript can't do what you want and then you use a plugin which defeats the whole point of using a browser.

      It's why there are corporations still using IE6 as if they upgrade it will all cease to work. It makes you wonder what the point of using the browser was, they've only saved themselves a little bit of client installation time. A native client would have been nicer to use and carried on working thanks to Microsoft's fairly legendary backwards compatibility.

      1. JEDIDIAH


        Except with some "browser plugin" you still have a common script language running on multiple platforms. It's not limited to PhoneOS, or MacOS, or Windows.

        Amazon Prime streaming is very handy due to that.

        You still have a platform agnostic development environment.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame Amazon

    Kindle app is only for iPad and not touchpad. Amazon haven't released the kindle application to UK yet, so I went to try the cloud one only to be told it was for iPads. :(

    1. Anonymous Coward


      If you couldn't produce both right away, which one would you produce first?

  20. NoneSuch Silver badge

    Reminds me of Goodfellas...

    Slightly paraphrased...

    Now the guy's got Stevie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Stevie. Trouble with the bill? He can go to Stevie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Stevie. But now the guy's gotta come up with Stevie's money every week, no matter what. Business bad? F*** you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? F*** you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? F*** you, pay me.

  21. sleepy

    People just don't get it.

    Apple wants a big enough open market where anyone can compete, and has worked really hard to make sure there is such a place: HTML5 / Webkit / no proprietary Flash. This is the place where the FT App has been "evicted". Apple's need is to prevent an innovation stifling monopoly like Microsoft's emerging again. Even if Apple is the monopolist, it would still stifle their innovation.

    There is also the proprietary part of IOS, including the App store, which delivers quite a lot of benefits to publishers and users. Apple charges 30%, and quite reasonably says suppliers can't wander round inside this closed ecosystem inviting people to buy the same thing cheaper outside. That's the same mechanism that's destroying the High Street. (Go look at a product locally, then buy it cheaper on the web).

    Instead of taking this as arrogant Apple greed, suggest an alternative that will enable a new economy to flourish for creators and consumers, without being smothered or hijacked by monopolists and gatekeepers.

    Yes, Apple is shooting themselves in the foot with these moves. That's the whole idea. It's the only way to force people to move forward to the new economy. When they've got themselves organised, Apple will be happy to compete.

    Unfortunately Google jumped ship from this strategy, which they shared, and now hope to be the new Microsoft.

    1. Craigness

      They get it alright!

      Apple does not want a big open market unless it owns, controls and taxes that market. If they really wanted anyone to be able to compete they would allow flash, they would allow downloads from competing stores, they would allow Amazon to use its own billing system instead of having to go through Apple's. They could even allow other manufacturers to install iOs.

      Apple is using its proprietary hardware to force people to use its other services. A company can spend a lot of money attracting customers but if their customers use iPhones then the company has to give 30% to Apple. That is not reasonable. Other companies make do with the profit from the phones and allow their customers to be free.

      It is clearly Apple which is being forced to move forward to the new economy. In the old economy you could create value for yourself by restricting choice, which is where Apple excels. This would reduce value overall though, so another system, which creates more value for all, will win out unless Apple can continue to restrict its users. The internet leaves no room for rentiers.

    2. GotThumbs

      Wow! Just don't drink the Cool-Aid when Jobs passes.

      Your a true believer. Nothing anyone says will enlighten you as to what Apple is really doing. Apple continues to be a 'Gate keeper' and the toll is 30%.

      Its just a matter of time for the sleeping people to wake up and realize their being kept in a prison where their feed content and restricted withing the walls Apple creates.

      Best wishes.

    3. sleepy


      It's fine to whinge about the 30%. But you're whinging about a subset of just one hardware platform. Use Android or Blackberry, or Windows mobile or some other platform if you don't like it.

      If you ran WH Smith you'd want a cut of FT sales made through you, wouldn't you? And you wouldn't want a sign up saying it was cheaper elsewhere.

      Apple's HTML5 webkit browser has fast Javascript and is standard. It's a place outside Apple's control, where anyone can offer content. Including content that is accessed via IOS native Apps. And it's used by Google, Nokia, Blackberry. Apple gave their contribution to this away for all to use, commercially or not.

      Remember when IE6 was a crippling dead hand on web innovation.

      Remember how Adobe did its best to destroy the Mac platform with feeble support, terrible performance and endless crashes.

      What you're objecting to is that Apple's business strategy, which they've been forced in to, is so superior, that people will willingly pay the 30%. When the so called competitors finally decide to compete, you'll have the world you want.

      1. Craigness


        If people were willing to pay the 30% then they'd not be trying to find ways around Apple's policies. How many who still do pay the 30% do so willingly? App developers could develop solely on Android etc if they want to, but those customers who the FT has won, and who use iPhones, would then be left without a mobile app.

        Your comment about WHSmith shows you do not understand the arguments against Apple here. The analogy would be correct if all Apple did was allow people to download the app and charged a fee for that. But once the app is downloaded Apple plays no part in content delivery, and does not need to play any part in the billing process except that their restrictive T&Cs prevent app developers from implementing their own billing systems. So for Apple to charge for content delivery is a barrier to competition. They want to be a rentier because they cannot compete.

        To make your analogy applicable to this situation you would have someone going into WHSmith, buying a magazine, liking the product and deciding to subscribe. The product would be published by someone other than WHSmith, delivered by someone other than WHSmith and WHSmith would get 30% of the subscription fee, forever. On top of that, WHSmith would force the publisher to use their billing system and would keep all of the data they had on you and not pass it to the publisher. So the publisher would not know their own customers.

        Apple have not been forced into this business strategy. They are not prevented from allowing developers to create their own in-app billing systems, they are not prevented from banning iPhones from accessing competing app markets. The restrictions they put in place are their own decision, and their decision is to become rentiers in a non-competitive market. You say "when competitors decide to compete" without realising that Apple has banned competition on the iOS platform!

        Adobe works with OS makers to make Flash work better on their platform. Except for Apple, who didn't let them.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "It's the only way to force people to move forward to the new economy. When they've got themselves organised, Apple will be happy to compete."

      As long as Apple only look like they're gouging every cent and abusing a dominant device market share when in fact what they're really doing is striving to change the world for the good of humanity then I'm happy...

      Wow, your posting was one of the more deluded and/or naive ones I've read in some time.

  22. Semihere
    Thumb Up

    A good move.

    Apple's encouragement of iOS specific apps to deliver content was in danger of splintering the web - turning it from an 'open' platform to a closed and walled world of little mini 'webs'.

    This move from the FT is a positive thing - moving back to device independence and the freely available web for all.

    Top show!

    1. Craigness

      Remember AOL

      Apple's vision is like AOL's 10 or more years ago. Their users were presented with a UI which had links to mail, news, entertainment etc, all provided by AOL. The internet was just another channel hidden amongst the AOL content, and there was no encouragement to use it or understand the concept of a web browser. An iThing's homescreen is the same concept, with the apps (and billing) ultimately being provided by Apple. Let's hope freedom wins out this time too!

  23. GotThumbs

    YES...Sticking it to Apple. Its about time the self imposed God of lazy minded fools

    Apple has become something of dictator and is demanding its taxes for all within its community of users. 30% seems to be Apples favored take on anything it decides to make available to its community of users. When will this content monopoly be taken to the courts? I'm just dumbfounded how long Apple has gotten away with the limits/restrictions its imposing.

    I'll NEVER own an Apple product. I appreciate freedom of choice and I get that with my Xoom and can easily build a computer for less than half the cost of an Apple computer.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No big loss for FT

    The FT's web app is actually very good. It feels like a native app, being light on UI chrome and fairly responsive with good scrolling. Crucially, it caches offline. And isn't that all you need?

    The big loser from this is Apple. When you subscribe to the FT, they're not shy to point out the big link to the web app anyway, so it's not like they'll be all-that inconvenienced.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Some %age is reasonable to support prepaid cards

    You can get iTunes vouchers in many stores and in these cases the retailer will be taking a cut and there may be some other costs in terms of systems and support. If you want to mummies Apples profit these could be a good way to go.

    I can understand why big players find it unacceptable but as a small developer 30% doesn't seem too unreasonable for providing multi territory billing, non credit card options and placement of the software. Having said that I haven't shipped an App yet so we will see how things go.

    1. TonyHoyle

      It may well work

      It's not about the initial sale - 30% of the cut of a paid app is in line with distribution costs on other media (google take the same.. no idea what blackberry take but I'd imagine similar).

      To use the newsagent analogy, this is like you buying the newspaper, then the newsagent, as well as getting his cut, wants to take a cut of anything you subsequently buy after seeing adverts in said newspaper, simply because you bought the newspaper from his shop.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        No, you but the newspaper from the shop and Apple gets their cut.

        You then decide to subscribe to the paper from the shop you bought it in - and the shop then gets it's continued cut. 30% sounds like too much to me, but if you don't like it - buy the subscription from somewhere else - ie the paper's own website.

  26. nsld

    No great surprise

    I said when this was announced that a move away from itunes was coming as content providers dont have 30% to give to Apple in a restrictive price marketplace.

    Apple needs app's and needs brand name association and as it starts to lose brands it will start to hurt. The FT may not be a major brand loss for Apple but as the rest of the brands used by the apple marketplace start to move in the same way it will hit harder.

    I have seen many of my customers bin app development due to this and start to work on web apps, more and more will start to appear and brands wont wait to be booted from Itunes they will simply leave.

  27. ceebee

    oh goodie...

    As a HTML5 site will play nicely with my $98 HP Touchpad!

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