updated 01:35 pm EDT, Tue June 7, 2011
Publishers still upset about subscription rules
Influential business publication the Financial Times has launched an overhauled HTML5 web app designed explicitly for iPads, iPhones and iPod touches. The interface adjusts to the specific size of a device on the fly, and should run faster than a previous FT web app. The design notably follows Apple look-and-feel standards, and allows for offline reading of the latest issue.
While the Times has in some ways been a strong supporter of iOS, the paper has been strongly resistant to Apple's iTunes subscription rules, which the web app is likely meant to avoid. Although more publishers have come onboard in recent weeks, many have complained about lacking (default) access to customer details, used to provide demographic data to potential advertisers. Apple also requires that any outside app subscription options be matched by in-app ones, where the company claims a 30 percent cut of revenue. In spite of this penalty, in-app subscriptions must cost the same or less.
The Times does offer native iPad and iPhone apps, but these are currently tied to subscription options which Apple is likely to reject once a rules compliance deadline passes later this month. The paper's managing director, Rob Grimshaw, says there are "no plans to pull out of any apps store." Spokesman Tom Glover elaborates that talks with Apple are still in progress when it comes to terms for iTunes subscriptions.