Apple’s iOS has been creating quite a buzz lately, and for all the wrong reasons. The new subscription policy essentially binds the applications on Apple’s iOS available on the iPhone, iTouch and iPad into a number of constraints that have not been received well by the creator companies. The terms include a 30% share of the application’s cost towards Apple, the creators cannot increase the cost of their apps for the Apple devices than those they charge everywhere else and the apps can’t even have direct links from the apps to the browser of the device to be able to handle subscriptions without including Apple into the process. And to give you an idea of just how restrictive Apple is about the process, it isn’t certain that the apps can even display a pop up message to ask users to subscribe from their PCs and then use the app.
For apps which have almost negligible or no marginal costs at all, this won’t be much of a worry. However, for heavyweight content providers like the ever popular music streaming services such as Rdio, Rhapsody, MOG, etc. this will probably mean their relationships with Apple mobile devices could be coming to a bitter end.
The biggest problem for these companies is that they often do not get the required 30% margins from their income; most of the fee they charge for subscription is claimed by the publishers and labels. It is being speculated that the majority of online music streaming services which currently have a presence in the iOS platform are about to publicly condemn the policy by issuing a joint statement. These music streaming services now face a tough decision of either going all out against Apple by fighting a legal battle or just giving in and inreasing their subscription fee to stay in the business.