The Hey email service from the makers of Basecamp is dealing with Apple’s refusal to approve updates to the iOS app. According to Basecamp director, this is related to Apple’s requirement to allow in-app purchases.
On Twitter, among others, CTO David Heinemeier Hansson is complain about Apple’s actions. The first version of the iOS app of the new email service passed the approval without any problems, but that did not apply to version 1.0.1, which has some bug fixes. App Store reviewers also declined the latest version, 1.0.2.
from a letter from Apple, posted by Hansson on Twitter, it appears that the company is pointing to an App Store Review provision on in-app purchases. In that letter, an App Store reviewer notes that Hey’s iOS app gives customers access to content, subscriptions, or features purchased elsewhere, but those items were not available in the form of in-app purchases from within the app. This specifically concerns the paid e-mail services that Hey offers.
According to Hansson, this should be seen as an attempt by Apple to claim 15 to 30 percent of its revenue. He says Apple threatens to remove the app in its entirety if the requirement is not met. Apple has informed the Protocol website that the approval of the very first version of Hey’s iOS app was a mistake.
Hansson points out that other email services and apps in the App Store, like the Hey app, offer access to subscriptions purchased elsewhere. He therefore believes that there are discrepancies and that measurements are therefore taken with multiple measures. The iOS app for Basecamp, for example, is still available in the App Store. This is probably related to the fact that it is a business client app where registration is not possible and only login is possible; Hey is primarily a consumer-oriented app that users pay for.
Spotify previously complained about Apple’s policy and it was recently announced that the European Commission has launched two investigations into possible abuse of power by Apple. The studies focus on the App Store and Apple Pay. The App Store investigation focuses specifically on this topic of making in-app purchases, on which app developers must pay a 30% commission to Apple, which also applies to subscription fees.