Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reportedly weighed in on the iOS in-app subscriptions controversy with one of his terse e-mails. Responding to an iOS developer’s inquiry, Jobs purportedly said apps such as Dropbox, Evernote, Salesforce and other similar software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps would not be required to use Apple’s new in-app subscription service, according to “MacRumors” (http://www.macrumors.com).
“We created subscriptions for publishing apps, not SaaS apps,” Jobs reportedly said in the e-mail.
Jobs’ note comes soon after Readability — an online service that allows you to save the text of articles for later reading offline — complained in a blog post that Apple rejected its iOS app for failing to use the new in-app subscription service. Readability charges a recurring membership fee for its service and then distributes 70 percent of its profits to writers.
“PC World” (http://macte.ch/YKLFD) says Apple appears to be drawing a distinct line between apps that deliver content to iOS users such as Rhapsody, Netflix or “The New York Times,” versus services that offer online document storage, note-taking services, business tools and other subscription-based software tools.
“The problem is that the line Apple draws between SaaS and content publishers may not be so clear,” says “PC World.” “For starters, is Readability a SaaS or a publisher? It’s true that Readability offers you news content, but is it publishing that content?”