With the June 30th deadline approaching, Apple has again changed the App Store Review Guidelines (via MacRumors). Previously, Apple required that all paid content be available via In-App Purchase (a huge technical hurdle) and that it not be available at a lower price anywhere else (a huge financial hurdle). The guidelines now say:
11.12 Apps offering subscriptions must do so using IAP, Apple will share the same 70/30 revenue split with developers for these purchases, as set forth in the Developer Program License Agreement.
11.13 Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, such as a “buy" button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected
11.14 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. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app
The rules for content and subscriptions seem to have essentially gone back to what they were originally. That is, you don’t have to support In-App Purchase, and if you do you can set your own price. Either way, you are not allowed to include a link to buy the content from your Web site.
In summary, apps like Kindle and Netflix can stay, but they’re not allowed to help you buy anything except via In-App Purchase. Amazon could theoretically offer one-tap book purchasing, and at a lower price, but Apple won’t allow that.