Apple has backtracked on the removal of the WordPress iOS app from the App Store, which the developer claimed was a move to force in-app purchases.
Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, tweeted on Friday that the WordPress App had been locked by Apple, and said he would need to support in-app purchases for .com plans to have it reinstated.
Heads up on why @WordPressiOS updates have been absent… we were locked by App Store. To be able to ship updates and bug fixes again we had to commit to support in-app purchases for .com plans. I know why this is problematic, open to suggestions. Allow others IAP? New name?
— Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) August 21, 2020
In a statement, Apple backed down and issued a public apology, saying it believed the issue to be “resolved”.
“Since the developer removed the display of their service payment options from the app, it is now a free stand-alone app and does not have to offer in-app purchases.
“We have informed the developer and apologise for any confusion caused,” the statement said.
Mullenweg said he was grateful for the decision, and said he would continue to do his best to abide by the App Store’s rules.
My life's mission, and the purpose of WordPress, is to increase the freedom of the internet. I hope in addition to native apps people continue to create websites and web apps that provide accessibility, autonomy, and freedom to the widest audience. Future generations deserve it.
— Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) August 23, 2020
Apple is facing pressure over the so-called “Apple tax” on App Store apps, which gives it a 30 per cent cut of in-app purchases and subscriptions while forbidding alternative methods of payment; Fortnite developer Epic Games has filed suit to have its own app reinstated, while a US news media trade organisation has sent a letter to CEO Tim Cook in an effort to renegotiate the policy for its members.