If you’ve thought of starting your own website, you’ve probably heard of WordPress. While it sells domain names and a number of website packages, there’s also the basic free option that doesn’t cost anything. If you’re using its iOS app, all you have access to is the free option. But because the app is limited to the free tier, it has been barred from getting updates.
WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg made the claim on Twitter. He said that Apple has prevented updates from being sent out until those paid tiers were added to the app. Mullenweg is also asking for suggestions as to ways to solve this issue, beyond just selling domain names on the iOS app.
I am a big believer in the sanctity of licenses. (Open source relies on licenses and copyright.) We agreed to this license when we signed up for (and stayed in) the app store, so going to follow and abide by the rules. Not looking to skirt it, hence doing what they asked us to.
— Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) August 21, 2020
Apple has confirmed to The Verge that has indeed taken the action claimed by Mullenweg. The company basically said that if there are paid features to a service, the app must have it too. As a result, Mullenweg says he will ultimately add them to the iOS version of the app.
There are some similarities between this WordPress case and the one with Epic Games. But forcing an app to put in in-app purchases when there was initially none is quite the novel scenario.