Apple should clarify iOS subscription policy


Until it wasn't.

It wasn't until early May that major publishers finally started embracing iOS subscriptions. Yet it seems as though each major publisher to make an iPad announcement has had its own unique arrangement. Time, for example, announced that via those magazines' respective iPad apps. (Time's People Magazine app began offering such a feature .) But there's no option for non-print subscribers to purchase in-app subscriptions. That seems to fly in the face of Jobs's statement that "if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app."

So how is Time pulling this off? , the publisher struck a deal with Apple, via the company's vice president of Internet services, Eddy Cue.

Time isn't the only publisher to bend Apple's ear, either. Publishing giant  to bring , , and to the iPad, complete with in-app subscriptions. quoted a Hearst spokeswoman as saying "We came to a fair and equitable deal [with Apple]" after what the described as "months of negotiations." The details of that negotiation, and whether it concerned price, subscriber data, or other considerations, weren't disclosed.

But, though  for $8 per year (or $6 per year if you prepay for three years in advance), the publisher says that the iPad subscription will cost $2 per month or $20 per year. So much for Apple's stipulation that the "same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app."