When they first started doing this, publishers believed it would revolutionise the way we all read our newspapers. While reading online was a growing phenomenon, reading on an iPad offered a mobile alternative.
However, I believe there is something of a revolt starting. It seems it began when Apple decided to drop a bit of a bombshell – they told publishers that they had to pay Apple a fee of 30% of the subscription paid to the publisher when consumers subscribed.
Defending this, Apple told the Guardian “Our philosophy is simple. When Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30% share. When the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100% and Apple earns nothing.”
This, I believe, infuriated the publishers, one of whom also recently pulled its own app from the Apple Store, albeit because of a dispute over what was considered to be the use of too stringent tests.
Apple management also told reporters that the company intended tightening the way app subscriptions are purchased on iTunes so that their 30% take would not be sidestepped.
Until very recently, not many newspapers and other periodical publishers made apps for Android devices. They are, however, realising the potential benefits. The Guardian, for instance, recently created its own application for Google Apps, which is downloadable in theU.S. for free. InBritain it is subscription based.
The question for Apple though is: has it made an own goal? Personally, I think it has.