Apple to nix free iPad editions for print subscribers?

Do you know how some newspapers and magazines  offer a free iPad app to their print subscribers? According to, Apple have decided to put a stop to that.

Apple is going to publish the rules for stricter compliance iPad tablet computer. Publishers, including NRC Media, may no longer offer a subscription model in which the newspaper also IPAD to read. Digital newspapers on the iPad may now only be purchased through the App Store, Apple’s digital store. The media company has given the publisher until March 31 to register their apps to the tightened rules to adapt. Otherwise they will be removed from the App Store.

I don’t see how this will earn Apple much money. I think it’s more likely that publishers will respond by pulling the app and offering the content on their website (registration required). Customers will be able to get the same content and Apple will get diddly.

On the plus side, this should be another nail in the coffin for apps. HTML5, here we come.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Mike Cane14 January, 2011

    We don’t even know the file format of those publications. Most likely they’re PDFs wrapped in an app. I see tons of newspaper PDFs being passed around. Apple won’t allow PDFs to be sold as PDFs. That’s probably why magazine publishers are trying to start their own thing.

  2. BBusybookworm14 January, 2011

    I think its going to set a very bad precedent.

    I wonder what this will do to Aggragators like PressDisplay which offer access to thousands of newspapers for a fixed subscription, available via the web and on its mobile PressReader apps on different platforms.

    If Apple tries to get a cut of this, then whats to stop them asking for a cut of subscriptions of services like dropbox, Hulu Plus, Netflix, etc, as after all the free app is for use in conjunction with an existing subscription

  3. Zigwalski14 January, 2011

    Well in the next year or so, there should be an android device (or someone elses) that can compete with the Ipad in quality so then the Apple monopoly can be over.

    Plus, it would make more sense for publishers to add the content to their own websites since it could be accessed by both Ipad users, tablet users, and computer users.

  4. Richard Adin15 January, 2011

    Interesting article in today’s New York Times regarding the iPhone and Verizon. Basically, the article says that Apple prefers to sell mediocre products with bugs as long as the “cool” factor remains than to change a product’s form to improve it. I know that that is different than the subscription problem under discussion, but it reinforces the view that Apple cares little about the consumer. (Should be noted that according to the article, much — not all — of the problem with the iPhone on the AT&T network is Apple’s fault, not AT&T’s but that Apple has done a great job passing the buck. Author of the article thinks Apple will not have the same success passing the buck with Verizon.)


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