Apple’s fight with WordPress over in-app purchases seems to be over. WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg has revealed that Apple “re-reviewed” the WordPress iOS app and determined that it doesn’t need to incorporate in-app purchases. Mullenweg said that his team would do its best to honor the “spirit and letter” of App Store rules, including the elimination of any potential “loopholes” in the WordPress app.
While Mullenweg didn’t explain what prompted this change, Apple said in a statement that it believed the concern had been “resolved” after the developer reportedly pulled mention of payment options. It’s now a “free stand-alone app” and doesn’t need to use Apple’s in-app purchasing system. The company added that it “apologize[s] for any confusion that we have caused.”
The removal of any paid plan mentions may have happened before Apple froze updates for the app. You couldn’t buy those plans, either, and any references to them were gone before Apple convinced Mullenweg to add in-app purchases. He also added that Apple had dismissed earlier offers to pull other discussions of paid plans. In other words, it looks like Apple may have had another look at the app after the public backlash happened.
Whatever the reasons, the incident shines more light on Apple’s App Store policies. Epic Games has already been pushing Apple to rethink its requirements so it can collect more revenue from Fortnite, and Microsoft drew attention to policies that effectively ban cloud gaming services. Then there’s the antitrust investigations and a growing group of non-gaming companies demanding changes. Bad times for Apple right now.
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