Bengaluru: Apple has apologised and backed down from a plan to block updates to the WordPress iOS app until the open-source project enabled in-app purchases that give Apple a 30% cut on sales.
Apple was essentially strong-arming WordPress into selling domain names through Apple’s in-app payment system. The app did promote paid subscriptions but did not let users buy the subscriptions through the app.
Apple intended to prevent updates to the WordPress iOS app, which is free, until the project complied with its rule to enable in-app purchases.
That move by Apple seemingly went against a recent policy update, following its fight with the developers of the Hey email app, in which it blocked app updates until the startup enabled in-app purchases for its US$99 annual subscription.
Apple had pulled back from its compliance push with WordPress and even offered an apology. But Apple, which is trying to bolster its services revenues, said the WordPress app originally promoted paid services without supporting in-app payments. That service includes paid-for custom domains.
Apple issued a statement saying, “We believe the issue with the WordPress app has been resolved. Since the developer removed the display of their service payment options from the app, it is now a free stand-alone app and does not have to offer in-app purchases. We have informed the developer and apologize for any confusion that we have caused.”
WordPress developer Matt Mullenweg had detailed in a tweet that Apple planned to cut off updates and bug fixes unless the project committed to supporting in-app purchases for WordPress payment plans in the iOS app.
This article first appeared in the NFA Post and is republished with permission.