Apple has come back from its decision to require WordPress to offer in-app purchases in its free app. Apple apologizes for the confusion caused by its previous position.
The decision allows WordPress on iOS to release updates again, without requiring it to offer Apple’s system for in-app purchases first. WordPress developer Matt Mullenweg says he is grateful that Apple is reversing its previous decision. He also expresses his appreciation for the ‘freedom and openness of the independent internet’.
Apple reports in a statement that tech journalist Mark Gurman publishes that the decision has been reversed because WordPress removed references to its paid services from the app. “It’s now a free standalone app that doesn’t have to offer in-app purchases.”
An old version of the WordPress iOS app still had a tab with notifications of a paid Premium offer that could be purchased via the website of the service, but the current app did not, writes The Verge. There was, however, a link to paid packages in the Help Center of the app that opened the paid offer in a browser. Apple’s terms and conditions prohibit providing access to paid offerings through the app on other platforms or the website.
According to Gurman, Apple states that WordPress wanted to give its app an update so that users could purchase paid services via the app, outside of Apple’s system for in-app purchases. Mullenweg denies that WordPress wanted to implement such an update and has sent a changelog to Gurman as proof. “There was no link to the subscription page and no way to purchase packages directly within the app.”
WordPress initially went overboard over the weekend and had decided to offer paid packages via the iOS app in the future, with Apple receiving its 30 percent share of sales.