Apple has notified developers that they can now offer an auto-renewable subscription price increase feature which will allow them to automatically charge subscription price increase on App Store without getting users’ permission and disrupting the service.
The feature was first discovered by developer Max Seeleman in April 2022 when the company was testing the new payment feature for developers to automatically charge for subscription price increases on App Store.
Auto-renewal subscription feature on the App Store allows users to automatically pay for services they use without authorizing payment through credit/debit card monthly or annually. However, Apple required that developers get subscribers’ consent to the new price structure through a price consent sheet displayed in the app, previously.
Apple allows developers to increase price by 50% of the subscription price once per year
To offer the new auto-renewable subscription price increase feature, developers have to fulfill certain conditions like subscription price can only increase by 50% of its original subscription price, $5 per month and $50 per year, once a year.
Although the tech giant has removed the requirement to get users’ permission to charge for the subscription price increase, it still mandates that developers notify the users of the price increase in advance through push notifications, in-app messages, and emails.
This will allow subscribers to discontinue the service before the price increase if they don’t agree with the price. Developers are also told that “Apple will notify users of how to view, manage, and cancel subscriptions if preferred.”
With this update, under certain specific conditions and with advance user notice, developers may also offer an auto-renewable subscription price increase, without the user needing to take action and without interrupting the service.
The specific conditions for this feature are that the price increase doesn’t occur more than once per year, doesn’t exceed US$5 and 50% of the subscription price, or US$50 and 50% for an annual subscription price, and is permissible by local law.
Having said that, developers will not be able to offer the ‘auto-renewable subscription price increase’ in regions where the local law permits them to get users’ permission for all price increases.
For all subscription price increases that are above the thresholds, exceed the annual limit, or occur within territories where the law requires it, subscribers must opt in before the price increase is applied. The subscription won’t renew at the next billing period for subscribers who didn’t opt in to the new price. They can always resubscribe within the app, from Settings on iPhone and iPad, or in the App Store on Mac.