Apple has reworked its app subscription rules for publishers, somewhat relinquishing its vice-like control over news and magazine apps.

Publications offering subscriptions no longer have to use Apple's previously mandatory in-app purchasing system to sell them.

You can buy an app subscription from a news outlet or magazine from an external site now and Apple won't take a penny of the income from these sales.

Smaller slice of the Apple

Apple charges a whopping 30 per cent fee for any subscriptions bought through its App Store or iTunes services; this means the publishers only take 70 per cent of the price the reader pays.

It has also relaxed its pricing rules, allowing iOS publishers to set their own prices for subscriptions, rather than having to keep in-app pricing at "the same price or less than it is offered outside the app".

The flip side is that Apple has now banished 'buy' links that direct the user out of the app in order to purchase more content.

The new guidelines state, "Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, such as a "buy" button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected."

It's pretty clear who this is aimed at – external e-book publishers. Apple wants all e-book purchases to go through iBook store so that it can nab that juicy 30 per cent fee that it still gets from every book sale.

Via NYTimes