Wednesday, February 16, 2011 [Tweets] [Favorites]

A Hypothetical Netflix “iOS Plan”

The Tech Bastard:

Service providers have an option to fight back that hasn’t been discussed enough, though; with a simple change to pricing they could quickly force Apple’s hand and show consumers the costs that Apple is passing on to them. They could create a separate, higher priced offering for iOS users.

In other words, to access the content from iOS you would have to buy a premium subscription plan (or “iOS access” for a Kindle book), and the price for that is what’s the same between the in-app and Web stores. I think this satisfies the letter of the guidelines. This would make it clear where the increased costs were coming from, and it could prevent publishers from withdrawing, but customers would still be worse off compared to before Apple’s policy changes.

6 Comments

Of course, Apple's iOS "policy" is written in invisible ink, so loopholes could be easily shut.

Embrace and extend. Embrace and extend. And e-commerce is the target.

30% your base are belong to us.

The more I think about it, the more I think they'll back off eventually; I don't think this will last 6 months. Just like the rule about not using third party translation layers, other languages, and non-Apple development tools, this one too brings too much confusion and uncertainty to stay.

It's quite amazing how much FUD Apple can cast on its own platform while still keeping developers aboard...

I like the idea, but I don't see how its not against Apple rules: you must have the same offers available online and in-app, so surely the non-premium pricing must also be available in-app, right?

@Pedro The idea is that you don’t name them that way. The non-premium option is simply another digital product that has nothing to do with iOS, so there would be no reason to offer it in-app. For example, call it the desktop PC version vs. the mobile version.

"The idea is that you don’t name them that way. The non-premium option is simply another digital product that has nothing to do with iOS, so there would be no reason to offer it in-app. For example, call it the desktop PC version vs. the mobile version."

Seriously. Again. Given the way Apple gives itself flexibility to reinterpret and/or rewrite the iOS "rules" at any and every moment in time, do you really think Apple would allow such a run-around to exist?

Trying to find workarounds based on what Jobs said this week is a fool's errand. He can just say something different next week. Welcome to the wonderful world of game console platforms.

As always, the true power of the iOS rules for Cupertino lies in their ad hoc nature.

@Chucky I agree. What I said was that this satisfies the letter of the guidelines. It might get through for a short time, long enough for people to take notice. TTB sees this as a way to put some pressure on Apple in the court of public opinion.

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