WordPress, the open source content management system that most websites are built on, has accused Apple of denying users the ability to update the app, unless the company adds in-app purchases on the app store and enable Apple get its 30 percent cut.
WordPress is available on iOS, allowing users to build and manage their websites from their iPhones for free. However, going forward, users will not be able to update the app on the app store unless they make in-app purchases.
Before this, the WordPress app has not been selling anything. It simply allowed users to create their websites with 3GB of space for free. This is quite understandable as the app is an open source project.
The app has never provided options for users to purchase unique domain names or add-ons on the iOS app. However, Apple admitted to getting involved in the matter and said that in-app purchases are required whenever apps “allow users to access content, subscriptions, or features they have acquired in your app on other platforms or your web site.”
The tricky bit however, is that WordPress doesn’t really have any products for sale. However, the company had to comply and WordPress founding developer Matt Mulenweg said they would add brand new in-app purchases from WordPress.com tiers including domain names. These, he said, would be done within 30days. Meanwhile, Apple agreed to allow automatic updates for the app for the same period.
According to The Verge, this latest development has just demonstrated Apple’s “fervent attempts to guard its cash cow”. Despite being the richest company in the world, Apple has successfully forced an app developer to monetize an app so it can make more money.
The Verge reports that Mullenweg is only one app developer speaking out on Apple’s tax and uneven enforcement of rules. There could be more who simply comply without speaking out.
However, Mullenweg also clarified that his tweet was meant for the WordPress community who would definitely be shocked to suddenly see the app asking for q fee for a .com upgrade on iOS.