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iPhone dev knocks Apple over vague new sub rules

Gregg Keizer | Feb. 22, 2011
TinyGrab's developer says getting clarification about in-app subscription rules like 'hitting a brick wall'

Leydon isn't the only iOS developer who has complained recently about the new rules. Last week, music subscription service Rhapsody called Apple's demand for 30% of all subscription revenues "economically untenable."

And on Monday, Rich Ziade, the creator of Readability, went public with the news that Apple had cited the new subscription rules when it rejected his iPhone app.

Readability, however, delivers content: It strips advertisements from Web content -- without the permission of content makers -- then republishes the material in an ad-free format. Readability says it funnels 70% of its revenues to the writers and publishers of the content it grabs.

Unlike Rhapsody and Ziade, Leydon doesn't have a problem with Apple taking its 30% slice.

"If they want a cut of sales, we can live with that," said Leydon. PayPal, he said, currently charges a 10% fee for payments it processes for TinyGrab. "I wouldn't call the 30% [Apple wants] nice, but in the grand scheme of things, it's a necessary evil."

Leydon rejects the idea forwarded by some that Apple will suffer if some developers decide to bail on iOS.

"Developers don't make the devices [successful]," Leydon argued. "Apple sells sex, and though some developers may kick and moan, the iPhone sold well long before apps appeared."


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