Apple should clarify iOS subscription policy

Is Apple treating all App Store developers equally? While Cupertino remains characteristically tight-lipped, recent reports suggest that Apple has reached individual agreements with large publishers as the company strives to increase the number of publishers--especially prominent ones--using its in-app subscription program.

In February of this year, . In at the time, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was quoted at length describing Apple's subscription policy:

Our philosophy is simple--when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing... All we require is that, , so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. [emphasis added]

In case Jobs's quote wasn't clear enough, Apple's press release got even more explicit:

... Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app.

Despite whether you agreed or disagreed with the policy, it was clear, publicized by Apple, and simple to interpret.