updated 04:35 pm EDT, Fri July 1, 2011
Violating apps may be pulled within days
Apple is reportedly ready to begin enforcing its new rules surrounding in-app subscriptions for iOS titles, after the App Store terms were modified early this year with strict guidelines. Reports initially claimed the company would take action against violators beginning June 30, however sources now have told Macworld the enforcement may affect developers sometime in the coming days.
The App Store guidelines in February were modified to require developers to offer in-app subscriptions at the same price as users could obtain through separate channels. The move frustrated many developers, some of whom viewed the new rules as driven by greed. Critics pointed out that some services were already working with margins well below Apple's 30-percent cut, essentially forcing developers to pull apps from the App Store.
Apple later backed away from the strict language, changing the guidelines yet again with new terms that merely prohibit companies from providing direct links to establish subscriptions outside of the App Store method. A number of apps, including Hulu and Netfix, have already been tweaked to eliminate direct links guiding users to sign up for subscriptions at the companies' respective websites.
Apple is said to be working directly with many developers to help bring apps into compliance with the new rules. It remains unclear if the company will maintain a level of subjectivity that has come to be expected as the App Store guidelines continue to evolve.