Apple may be preparing itself for an epic legal showdown with Fortnite developers Epic, but its already made one faux pas on its App Store with regards to another big app developer. Claims were made on Friday that Apple had forced WordPress to add some form of monetization and in-app purchases into its otherwise free app, with Apple hoping to extract their regular 30% commission from them in the process.
This led to a lot of outrage from many users, given how widely used WordPress is and how important it is to many news and blogging sites. The app is designed to support people who use WordPress and already have accounts with them and is seen as a value add for their customers rather than an app that designed to generate revenue. And its that change in focus that has led to much of the ire which was directed towards Apple over this issue.
Apple appears to have heard all that outrage and has since released a statement apologizing for the incident, confirming that WordPress is once again free to use and will no longer offer any form of in-app purchases on their platform.
We believe the issue with the WordPress app has been resolved. Since the developer removed the display of their service payment options from the app, it is now a free stand-alone app and does not have to offer in-app purchases. We have informed the developer and apologize for any confusion that we have caused.
It’s a rather sneaky apology from Apple, where they are almost essentially laying the blame on WordPress. In an investigation by The Verge, it turns out there is some truth to Apple’s claims as there was code intended for some in-app purchases in the company’s code repository, but it was largely something that had been looked at in the past and never considered actually using. You can follow the Twitter thread from developer WordPress’s Matt Mullenweg for some more details o the whole saga.
It’s likely that we will never know all the details around this drama, but Apple certainly is not painting a good picture of themselves in the court of public opinion lately.
Last Updated: August 26, 2020