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Apple Enforces Subscription Policies, May Impact Remote Auction House

Update: Thanks to Hegarol for the tip. It looks like Apple hasn't changed their policies, they're simply enforcing them now.

Some time in mid-January, Apple began contacting app developers to alert them that they're going to begin more strictly enforcing policy regarding subscription-based applications. This covers apps available on the iPhone and other devices offered by the company. Essentially they want to rein in subscription-based apps like they do anything else: they want a piece of the pie. A pretty big one, too.

Apple is said to be giving app developers until March 31, 2011 to comply with the policies which will limit apps to using Apple’s own subscription API built into iOS — stating that they will reject any apps that attempt to utilize their own subscription service. And of course, if your app isn’t on iTunes, it’s going to be pretty darn hard to get it installed on your device.

For World of Warcraft players, this obviously means the Remote Auction House, which has optional features integrated that cost $2.99 a month. You must have an active World of Warcraft account to utilize the subscription service, and as of right now Blizzard handles the billing.

While you can use your browser for all of the features, it’s the iPhone version that may come under fire with this policy change. Apple wants to be the one handling all subscriptions through applications on their devices, which in turn would net them 30% of any revenues from said subscriptions.

The question then is, how exactly does this policy enforcement affect the Remote Auction House? Does it at all? Perhaps there’s a loophole Blizzard can use since you’re able to access the subscription features via a web browser — essentially only offering an “extension” to access those services through the application. After all, you’re not paying a subscription for the app itself. Or are you?

Via RP Scope


  • #1
    See this:

    "We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.”
  • #2
    Thanks, edited for clarification.
  • #3
    I haven't used my WoW app on my ipod in a long while, but I seem to recall having to sign into my WoW account to use it (which is far more than just the auction house features). If that's the case, then the subscription itself would seem to be covered under the same policy.
  • #4
    Get Android
  • #5
    Actually I meant something else.

    The article suggests that Apple wants to be the ONLY ONE handling subscriptions but that is NOT the case. They don't accept it if an app only supports subscriptions outside the app. They want to enforce developers who do that do use the In-App purchase option as well.
  • #6
    Hegarol, at the time of the story breaking the general consensus among the tech reporting world was that Apple meant "our way exclusively". It wasn't until quite a while later that Apple clarified their stance on the matter to the less draconian version.

    There is no telling if that was the case initially or if apple later softened up a bit for PR purposes as even the Apple fans were lambasting them.

    Cameron - RPScope.

  • #7
    Agrees with Spun430 get Android; a much better choice
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