Apple Inc. reversed a decision on Saturday to compel a famous WordPress blogging platform to add in-app purchases to its software, a step that could help lower tensions between Apple and developers amid a public dispute with Epic Games.
WordPress said on Friday that it had been told by Apple that it had 30 days to add in-app purchases to its program, which would have given Apple a 30 percent reduction in sales of WordPress.com plans purchased via the app. Developers challenged Apple’s request online as the WordPress software did not previously provide a way to purchase plans inside their software, but only on their website.
“We think the difficulty has been determined with the WordPress app,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. “Since the developer separated from the app the view of their service payment options, it is now a free stand-alone product, which does not have to make in-app purchases. We told the developer and apologize for any misunderstanding we generated.
Some have previously viewed the move as Apple forcing a developer to add purchases inside its app to give the company a share of revenue that developers of the app had not previously taken in. The App Store is a significant portion of the $50 billion annual service company of Apple.
Yet Apple says WordPress submitted an update to the app that would have allowed consumers to buy updated plans in the app, not through in-app purchases. Previously WordPress promoted its plans in the app, without providing a way to buy them directly.
“We will persist to be alert and do our best to be both within the spirit and letter of the rules of the app store, including closing any review loopholes that pop up,” Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, said in a tweet.
WordPress’s latest decision could calm tensions with developers, some of whom have been siding with Epic Games in a battle over Apple’s fees charges developers.