In a brief call today about Basecamp’s “Hey” email app and the iOS App Store, Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, told TechCrunch‘s Matthew Panzarino that there would be no changes to its rules that would allow the app to continue to be offered.
“Sitting here today, there’s not any changes to the rules that we are considering,” Schiller said. “There are many things that they could do to make the app work within the rules that we have. We would love for them to do that.”
The current experience of the Hey app as a user downloading it from the App Store is that it does nothing. It is an app that requires you to subscribe to the Hey service on the web before it becomes useful.
“You download the app and it doesn’t work, that’s not what we want on the store,” says Schiller. This, he says, is why Apple requires in-app purchases to offer the same purchasing functionality as they would have elsewhere.
To be clear, this is against the App Store rules for most apps. The exceptions here are apps that are viewed as ‘readers’ that only display external content of certain types like music, books and movies — and apps that only offer bulk pricing options that are paid for by institutions or corporations rather than the end user… “We didn’t extend these exceptions to all software,” he notes about the ‘reader’ type apps — examples of which include Netflix. “Email is not and has never been an exception included in this rule.”
MacDailyNews Take: So, as we wrote yesterday: What’s to prohibit the Hey developers from adding an option to subscribe to their email service in-app for $99 plus Apple’s App Store cut (30% the first year, 15% thereafter) per year whle working to make it common knowledge that savvy users subscribe to services OUTSIDE of the App Store for 15%-30% less, not in it for 15%-30% more?
Final note: David Heinemeier Hansson is the guy who last year claimed that there was “gender bias” in the Apple Card approval process (disavowed strongly by Goldman Sachs) and he earlier this year testified before the U.S. Congress that Apple’s App Store appeals process would make “Kafka blush,” so there may be more going on here between Apple and Hansson than is seen on the surface.