Tesla app for iPhone is offering the Premium Connectivity subscription through its own billing system. As the service recently added the “View Live Camera” feature, it falls under Apple App Store guidelines for when an app must provide the option to subscribe via its App Store payment system.
Tesla app for iPhone is designed to allow owners to directly communicate with their vehicles anywhere and at any time. Tesla owners can lock or unlock, heat or cool, check the charging progress in real-time, locate, control media, vent or close the panoramic roof, and control other functions of the vehicles.
The app also offers a Premium Connectivity subscription which gives access to exclusive features, along with Standard Connectivity features to enhance the driving experience. Premium Connectivity subscribers can live traffic visualization, satellite-view maps, caraoke, internet browsing, and video, and music streaming through an active plan for $9.99 per month.
Premium Connectivity can not bypass Apple In-app payment to avoid the 30% commission
In addition, the Premium Connectivity service features the Sentry Mode-View Live Camera. The feature allows Tesla owners to view the area surrounding select Tesla models through their exterior cameras in real time via a mobile app.
Gizmodo’s latest report highlights that the View Live Camera feature in Premium Connectivity technically falls
Currently, the Tesla app for iPhone allows users to subscribe to Premium Connectivity through the company’s billing system, not App Store. This way, Tesla does not pay the 15% or 30% commission to Apple for all in-app purchases via its app store.
So far, Apple has allowed Tesla to offer the paid-premium tier as the company uses its own hardware for the features. However, the View Live Camera connectivity uses the iPhone to display the stream which makes the feature fall within App Store In-app billing requirements.
If the tech giant catches wind of the development or changes its mind, it can be liable to get a fat cheque from Tesla. Gizmodo writes:
But the View Live Camera connectivity feature only works in conjunction with the Tesla app. Per Apple’s policies, Tesla would need to offer the iPhone’s In-App Purchase tool for payments. In reality, though, you can only pay with a credit card, per Gizmodo’s tests.
That means Tesla is dodging Apple’s App Store tax, skipping out on what likely adds up to millions of dollars that Apple could be collecting as years go by. For some reason, Apple seems fine with this. Neither Apple nor Tesla responded to requests for comment.