Read this in VB then macRumors. Seems Apple has changed it in-app subscriptions rules such that a subscription does not have to be the “same price or less than it is offered outside the app”. In fact, there are no rules for price period. Apple also removed the requirement that external subscriptions must be also offered as an in-app purchase. Not only that, but check out this from the updated Review Guidelines.
11.14 Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app
This could be response to outside pressure and major publications deciding to dump iOS all together and go with HTML5. This past week, the Financial Times dumped its iOS app in favor of a revamped HTML5 site. Points we made back in March on Apples Subscriptions Rules seems to be playing out as more and more publishers look to get out of the Apple publishing sandbox.
The new rules should take effect June 30 and it looks like Apple has quietly pulled back in the face of the massive noise generated. I guess Steve can’t do anything he wants after all.