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Readability Readies Apple “Love Letter” — Has The Subscription Policy Already Shifted?

February 23rd, 2011 02:33 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

The Readability iOS app has been re-submitted. Coming soon: our open love letter to Apple.

about 1 hour ago via webRetweetReply

A couple days ago, Readability was pissed off. In an open letter to Apple, they noted that the new subscription policy “smacks of greed”. And they threatened to abandon Apple’s platform in favor of the open web. This message resonated with many, as there’s a huge amount of unease about Apple’s new policy in the developer community. But now, just two days later, Readability has re-submitted their app to Apple for review. And apparently, a “love letter” to the company is forthcoming.

So why the change from war to peace? Well, we’ve reached out to Readability about the issue, but for now we can only assume that they’ve talked to Apple about the situation and heard exactly what they wanted to hear. My guess is that it means their app is actually not going to be subject to the new App Store subscription rules.

The reason for Readability initial outburst was because Apple rejected their app on the grounds that it didn’t use their in-app purchase system — the one that would require them to give 30 percent of their revenue to Apple. The company thought this was unfair and didn’t make a lot of sense because they think of themselves as a software as a service (SaaS) company that doesn’t actually sell content, but a service.

This is a bit of a gray area because Readability does sort of serve up content, but it’s not their content, it’s re-purposed content. Still, Apple taking 30 percent of their revenues would drastically alter their business model, and could have forced them to shut down, or simply not do an iPhone app.

But an email supposedly sent by Steve Jobs shortly after this incident claimed that the subscription rules were not meant for SaaS apps. And now it appears that Apple may be taking the steps to right the wrongs that were done after the rules were first stated.

Again, it’s hard to know any of this for sure as neither Readability nor Apple is talking right now. But that tweet and the fact that Readability re-submitted their app so quickly seems to speak to all of this.

More to come, I’m sure.

Source: Readability Readies Apple “Love Letter” — Has The Subscription Policy Already Shifted?

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