Apple has formally booted the Financial Times newspaper app out of the iTunes store for the newspaper's refusal to hand over 30 per cent of subscription revenues to the Mac maker. That said, FT devotees with suitable iTunes accounts can still obtain the app from iTunes Slovakia: The Financial Times app on iTunes... kind of We …
...that runs on top of the browser techology...
And therein the obvious solution, particularly for a non-static data model such as the FT might be expected to have.
Why build an application to handle all the data flow when there's a browser already sitting there?
This has been my problem with a lot of apps since the very start. You don't need an app, you need a website that targets small screen devices.
slow slow slow
...because the browser technology and HTML5 on the iPad is not smooth or quick enough to provide a native-app compatible experience. Believe me...I worked on a News Int HTML5 platform which was ditched for this very reason....
There seem to be quite a few apps which are just grabbing stuff from the app makers own website. I guess many people feel they have to have a presence in app form rather than have people guess at pointing towards the web.
As opposed to The Sunday Times app
Want to read the News Review section (~20 pages)? That's a 45MB download sir. The entire paper? Somewhere approaching 600MB
Oh, and the app will repeatedly crash when you use it. Enjoy.
I actually saw a web ad for the ST app, claiming it was "award winning". I can only assume this is in the line of theatre reviews, it must have won the award for the most bloated buggy piece of shit on the app store.
To be fair to NI, The Times app works very well, and doesn't require insane amounts of data to be downloaded.
ok, that's it.
just hand over 30% of whatever you own to apple and let's all just get on with whatever else needs getting on with.
grabbing 30% for what?
Just exactly what is Apple doing for its 30%?
Nothing. Excepting not blocking access to the idiots that buy Apple products. Clear and simple.
Who needs a monopolist in the industry when you have jerkheads running Apple. The big jerk may be gone but those who remain also think they own the customer and can block services unless they are paid off.
Not only arrogant but stupid as well.
For a consumer using an Apple app and you have found a fool.
What's Apple doing for it's 30%?
How about providing app hosting, QC, advertising space in the app store, free/low cost development tools, a payment platform (that accepts credit, debit and high street prepay) and buyers to the seller?
The cost to NI is next-to-nothing, a couple of $99/year dev licenses, 30% is peanuts compared to what they have to pay to sell physical print. They could have removed the direct links from the app and continued to pay Apple near zilch, but they held out and were removed. The only people who have a problem with 30% are the middle men, those companies who don't produce content but sell it on, and 30% is a good chunck of their typical margin.
What has Apple lost? The income from developer licences is far exceeded by the cost of curating and hosting the app. A net gain for them. What have Apple users lost? Since the FT has created a replacement web app and they keep anything that has already been downloaded then nothing.
Laugh in their faces, and go elsewhere. Like any sane company would do.
How times change...
One year the FT app is awarded some award for being an excellent showcase of apps in this field, and a few months later struck off and nowhere to be found.
I still think the ft was right. 30% and exclusion from data is not just audacious but downright blackmail.
Oh, and what became of that Murdoch's app-exclusive, quasi newspaper thingie? You don't know? Hm, neither do I .
Content really is king.
I assume Apple has some stonking HTML 5 patents up its sleeve - as it seems to be pushing all content providers away from native apps and towards HTML 5 with its revenue grabbing schemes.
Apple will just add some arbitrary, punitive restrictions on the browser to stop HTML5 apps from sidestepping their controls in other places. For example they could limit offline storage to some swingeing amount that immediately hurts apps like Kindle or FT.
For example they could limit local storage to 1MB (enough for any webapp right?), or perhaps 10MB total for ALL webapps to fight over. They could also strangle read / write storage speed, detune JS / HTML performance, relegate web apps icons to some remote inaccessible corner of the UI and a bunch of other measures to make HTML apps suck.
They could do all that...
...meanwhile a little robot will be sat there in the other corner saying "Hi guys. No problems here!"
Apple would have to have a collective mental breakdown and go completely stark raving bonkers to even consider making web apps run like a three-legged dog. Mind you, nothing much would surprise me. After all, forcing news sites and the likes to go for a multi-platform technology by introducing extortionate charges to their own App Store is hardly a level-headed approach. For an increasing number of people, "Not An iPhone" is either inconsequential or worse, a selling point.
They could release their Apps through Cydia - Kindle at least would see millions of downloads.
Apple doesn't do what's in the consumer's interests
"Apple would have to have a collective mental breakdown and go completely stark raving bonkers to even consider making web apps run like a three-legged dog."
That assumes they do what is in a customer's interest. I see no evidence that Apple has ever put the customer's interest first when it conflicts with their own.
If subscription / service apps use HTML5 to sidestep being forced to use a service they don't need or want then Apple is going to respond. They are going to cripple web apps in various ways. Offline storage is the obvious one, but also JS execution speed, availability of fonts, media playback behaviour, memory limitations, positioning on the home page etc..
As for Cydia (other poster) I think it would be a gas if Amazon or whoever officially supported it but I expect it's a legal quagmire.
Are you forgetting
That back at the start, when the original iPhone was released, there was no App Store, and the 'future' was web apps.
Crippling the web.
And like I said in my original reply, there would be a little green robot in the other corner laughing its little head off and shouting "over here, chaps! I run at top speed!"
Seriously, after all that noise Apple were making about running the "full" web, I imagine various manufacturers would have a field-day over such a bone-headed decision as to deliberately cripple performance of the entire World Wide Web on the iToys over a few businesses putting up websites with paywalls. I didn't say Apple WOULDN'T do it. I'd just be giggling uncontrollably if they did. As would, no doubt, various people from Google, Samsung, HTC, Sony, Archos, ZTE... you get the idea.
Just imagine someone with a "premium" iPhone being unable to view a website or having really crappy performance, while the guy next to him with a budget no-name Droid sails ahead smoothly. What do you think their next mobile device will be? Just how brainwashed would this hypothetical person have to be to continue thinking that they have "the best"?
In fact, I don't think "stark, raving bonkers" would even begin to describe such a decision.
About time too.
And so begins the end of iTunes media-app revenue model.
I don't expect Jobs (or Cook) to lose much sleep over that, since their money comes primarily from the hardware. And guess what? The FT web app can still be accessed through the iPad, so nothing lost to the consumer (except perhaps some compromise in UX due to HTML5 limitations).
Oooh, this is getting good
I can't wait until they boot Amazon and all the other HTML 5 publications off, we can say bye bye to iTunes once and for all.
Did you actually read the story or just come here to moan at apple?
Apple is not booting html5 publications off their store. This is about the FT not wanting to pay apple 30% of it's subscriptions revenue.
Yeah I did...
Apple are just a bunch of restrictive c@&ts...
Why should you only be able to do this that or the other, why should you turn over YOUR hard earned cash for an App YOU developed, why cant they withstand a little competition from Samsung...
Makes me grrrrrrr
@AC - Um, yes I read the story
I'm assuming you missed the point of it though, they've been removed for using HTML 5 to bypass Apple's 30%, precisely what Amazon and many others have already implemented, so, how long until they boot Amazon? I'm not Apple bashing by the way, I'm iTunes bashing.
"Why should you only be able to do this that or the other"
Erm - because it's their store and they con do whatever they please?
Just because you don't like it - it doesn't mean it's wrong/bad for everyone else.
The html 5 thing is irrelevant. It's the fact that the FT bypassed Apple's walled-garden-approach to charging.
I have no idea whether Amazon do this too. If they do, then I expect them to get kicked-off too. It would be unfair to do otherwise - although since it's Apple's store they can do what they want.
No, you were bashing Apple's enforcement of it's iTunes store rules.
So "There's an app for that" unless it's the Financial Times. That "whoosh" you can hear is the sound of subscriptions slipping through Apple's greasy fingers, as HTML5 becomes the new, FREE app store.
Their stranglehold is starting to weaken. Watch and learn.
"as HTML5 becomes the new, FREE app store"
And don't forget cross-platform. Suddenly, all these "Apps" become web pages, accessible from practically any device, rather than iPhone-exclusive and locked-in.
Seems like this will simplify things for developers...
@Dr. Mouse & @Jim Coleman
In the meantime, the largest selling sector of apps--specialised applications and video games--will continue to dominate sales in iTunes.
HTML5 is fine for news and some stuff, but it is not the solution to *all* applications.
HTML5 is fine for news and some stuff, but it is not the solution to *all* applications.
No, for that you need Flash ;)
Passing the pain threshold
If you charge too much or apply restrictions then you encourage your customers to spend more money on developing a cheaper alternative. The trick is to keep your cost just below the level at which they decide it's worth doing this, and I guess Apple didn't quite manage that with the FT or Amazon.
Shouldn't that be...
30 per cent of you subs revenue are belong to us?
Restrictions as an excuse
I wonder how many other apps will go down this route purely because of restrictions. Losing 30% of the revenue is quite a big chunk so I suspect that will be the main driving factor in any others doing the same. As much as I'd like to believe this is the restrictions Apple place on developers it's much more likely to be the developers seeing that they can get 100% instead of 70%.
30% for nothing
Particularly when Apple does nothing for the 30%.
Brick and mortor stores actually buy inventory, stock it, promote it, give it shelf space, etc. Even online operations may promote a product or service.
Apple does absolutely nothing for the 30%. Save for attempting to block access to customers if not paid off.
Simply do not deal with idiots like Apple.
Server farms and bandwith are FREE now, apparently...
Nothing? Really? Just how much do you think it cost to build and maintain the infrastructure to support the app store? I'm hardly the world's biggest Apple fan, but you, Sir, are an idiot if you think Apple add no value whatsoever.
@krakead - What servers? What bandwidth?
Which one of Apple servers does an edition of the FT or an Amazon e-book pass through?
(the correct answer is 'none')
How much of Apple's bandwidth does the above activity use?
(the correct answer is 'none')
Missing the point
Apple still take their cut for apps sold through the app store.
This is about subscriptions which have f**k all to do with the app store.
Server farms and bandwidth are NOT fee, but who is FORCING the use of their servers to provide the app store? Symbian, download the app and install, no need to use Ovi at all. Android, same thing, there is more than one store. So while the servers and bandwidth are not free, since Apple wants to control the app store, that is the price THEY pay.
"the developers seeing that they can get 100% instead of 70%."
so, currently a developer makes an app, sells for say, $1. from each sale, the get 70c, apple gets 30c.
They decide to stop selling their app and move to a HTML5 web page, to stop apple getting their 30c, but now they are selling a web page, not an app, and so, they also stop getting their 70c.......
so instead of their "100% instead of 70%" they are actually getting the same as Apple, 0% from all app sales. (as there are no longer any sales of their apps)
for content delivery, where apple, also take 30% from in app subs, then yes, the content provider would now be getting 100% of the subs (but still be getting 0% from app sales, and what ever extra subs the sale of their app might have generated), but you don't think that's going to be the App's developer do you?
Apple Web Apps
Was this not the originally idea that Apple wanted everyone to do initially with first gen iPhone when there was no such thing as native Apps, Apple wanted all the apps to be web based, next came native toolkit and now we are going to revert back to Web Apps with HTML5 all good for the consumer not sure how Apple is going to make money though.
Ah yes but...
..if they planned to use the browser for this sort of thing from the start then the 30% they have been making until now has been a nice little Brucey Bonus! They will still be making their whack from the games which takes care of the development and support of the SDK. All in all it has been a nice little earner....
I applaud FT and hopefully soon Amazon to standing up to Apple's gouging.
So many comments claiming Apple taking 30% is unfair. OK, so what is reasnoble ? 15% ?
When you buy a card in a newsagent, they operate on 100% margins, sometimes much more. Retailers' margins are often obscene - however, they are not transparent.
"Reasnoble"... Are you relly serius?
Yeah, that's right. Have a go at his spelling instead of replying to his comment.
yeah, that's right. Have a go a Stike having a go rather than posting an actual comment (or bothering with a sense of humour).
The difference is that the newsagent is offering a service by making the cards available. They are being stored in the shop after all. Apple don't store FT content or Amazon e-books. They don't have to handle the transaction either.
A more accurate description would be buying a card from the newsagent and being mugged on the way out for an extra couple of quid by somebody completely unconnected to the whole affair.
yeah, that's right. Have a go at AC 12:08 having a go at Stike having a go rather than posting an actual comment
(posted with a sense of humour).
But they aren't unconnected
In this case the FT is the guy standing by the card rack selling cards and giving the store nothing in return, taking advantage of the shops' marketing and customer base whilst offering little to the shop in return
Data centres cost a lot of money to build and run... they store the apps and handle the billing.
The point is, what is reasonable ? 10% ? 5% ? 1% ?