Apple apologized for demanding payment from WordPress free app

An issue of Apple demanding 30% commission from a free to use iOS, WordPress has been resolved. Previously, WordPress founding developer Matt Mullenweg made a public statement on Twitter that the Cupertino tech giant of cutting off the ability to update his app, until or unless he adds in-app purchases so it can extract 30 percent commission for in-app purchases.

Apple responded to Mullenweg late on Saturday.

“We believe the issue with the WordPress app has been resolved. Since the developer removed the display of their service payment options from the app, it is now a free stand-alone app and does not have to offer in-app purchases. We have informed the developer and apologize for any confusion that we have caused.”

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WordPress for iOS allows users to create and manage a website right from their iPhone or iPad, for free. The app simply assigns users a free WordPress domain name and 3GB of space. Separately, WordPress.com happens to sell domain names and additional website packages, no such in-app purchases exist on the iOS app.

WordPress Update Blocked by Apple

According to Mullenweg, WordPress’s app was not updated because the App Store locked it due to a lack of in-app purchases (IAP) for WordPress.com plans. “To be able to ship updates and bug fixes again we had to commit to supporting in-app purchases for .com plans,” he said. He even asked for suggestions on how to proceed with this unusual situation in which Apple seemed to be demanding that in-app purchases be added to a free app.

As per the App Store commission policy, the company charges a 30% commission from developers for all purchases made via the platform because of the services provided to them like access to a billion customers, marketing and search tools, developers assistance program, and more. As reported by Mark Gurman, the issue with WordPress was its direct link of an in-app reference to buy plans from wordpress.com.

Even if this is just a mistake on Apple’s part, it could not have come at a worse time as the company is facing lots of antitrust pressure around its App Store practices. Epic Games has waged a legal war against the iPhone maker over a 30 percent commission rate and is not showing any flexibility to come to a compromise.

Read more about the on-going battle here:

About the Author

Mobile gaming editor for iThinkDifferent