Apple still has a say in the price of in-app purchases and subscriptions

The years pass and the validation of the App Store does not evolve in certain aspects. The proof again with the recent iOS app rejection media The Information, a rejection justified by the team in charge of validation by the price deemed too high for one of the in-app subscriptions offered by the app. To unlock the update, a justification had to be made to justify this price, an astonishing right of scrutiny on the part of Apple which is however not new.

For years now, Apple has reserved the right to ban an app on its store if it deems that the prices of in-app purchases or subscriptions are too high. In fact, this prerogative dates back to the creation of the App Store, if we remember the I Am Rich adventure, a deliberately useless app sold for €800 and removed in the summer of 2008. The reason behind this right of regard is indeed to avoid scams, which have multiplied in recent years.

Apple is interested in apps that charge “irrationally high” prices

The catch is that The Information is paid and expensive media, its business model being to sell a high-priced subscription to a small number of subscribers. The rates displayed on its site are thus $39 per month or $399 per year for the basic plan. The iOS version has two offers in France, one at €65.99 per month and the other at €449.99 per year. It’s expensive, but it’s consistent with the site’s business model.

The app details of The Informationwith the prices of the two in-app subscriptions offered in France.

The update was not blocked for long and Apple quickly recognized its error. However, this new incident could be the sign of an internal change: according to another developer quoted by Michael Tsai, the Cupertino company would have recently opted for an algorithm that analyzes all apps upstream of human surveillance. One can imagine that all the apps that display a high price in a given category are automatically notified and that it is only later that a human can check the situation.


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