WordPress Says Apple ‘Locked’ iOS Updates Unless it Agreed to In-App Purchases

Wordpress ios

Another news story is out about Apple’s App Store and the latter’s 30% take when it comes to in-app purchases.

WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg said on Friday the reason why iOS app updates have been ‘absent’ lately were because Apple allegedly wanted the company to implement in-app purchases.

Heads up on why @WordPressiOS updates have been absent… we were locked by App Store. To be able to ship updates and bug fixes again we had to commit to support in-app purchases for .com plans. I know why this is problematic, open to suggestions. Allow others IAP? New name?

The WordPress iOS app does not sell anything but rather just lets you create a website free of charge. There’s nothing to purchase within the app.

According to The Verge, it says “Apple admitted to The Verge that it’s involved, reminding us 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.””

WordPress does have paid plans but it’s pretty hard to view these pages within the iOS app. Mullegweg says Apple rejected his offer to block iOS users from seeing pages where paid plans were available for purchase.

According to Mullenweg, he later told The Verge WordPress will comply with Apple and add in-app purchases for the company’s paid tiers, within 30 days.

As The Verge concludes:

In other words, Apple won: the richest company in the world just successfully forced an app developer to monetize an app so it could make more money. It’s just the latest example of Apple’s fervent attempts to guard its cash cow resulting in a decision that doesn’t make much sense and doesn’t live up to Apple’s ethos (real or imagined) of putting the customer experience ahead of all else.

The final details of WordPress agreeing to Apple’s terms and comment from the iPhone maker was added as an update later to The Verge’s reporting.