Financial Times: Mobile web app more popular than iOS version

Tools

A month after Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store subscription restrictions prompted The Financial Times to scrap its iOS applications in favor of an HTML5-based mobile web app, the international business publication said more than 700,000 users worldwide now access the browser version, making it more popular than the native iOS incarnation was.

Financial Times - iOS

The browser version of The Financial Times is more popular than the native FT app was.

"People who are using the app are spending much more time with the content," FT.com managing director Rob Grimshaw tells Reuters. "They are consuming about three times as many pages through the app as they are through the desktop in an average visit." The Financial Times mobile web app now accounts for 15 percent of FT.com subscriptions and 20 percent of total FT.com mobile page views, Grimshaw said.

The Financial Times removed its iOS applications after months of negotiations with Apple failed to yield an agreement over revenue and subscriber data sharing. When Apple first introduced the App Store subscription platform in mid-February, many publishers immediately expressed serious reservations over the terms of the service, which awarded Apple 30 percent of subscription revenues, as well as ownership of consumer data like names and email addresses. Some smaller developers even scrapped their iOS application plans. Apple quietly updated the guidelines in June, removing all pricing guidelines and giving content providers the freedom to offer in-app subscriptions at any price they wish.

"Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content," reads section 11.14 of the revised App Store Subscriptions agreement. "Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app."

Apple set a June 30 deadline for developers to comply with the rule. The Financial Times was not the only partner to balk: Booksellers Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble have removed e-book purchase options from their respective e-reader applications for iOS.

For more:
- read this Reuters article

Related articles:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble halt direct e-book sales via iOS apps
Google Books exits App Store as Apple cracks down on in-app purchases
Apple eases App Store in-app subscription rules
Hearst inks deal with Apple for iPad magazine subscriptions
Time Inc./Apple deal yields free iPad magazines for print subscribers