Financial Times kills iOS app to avoid Apple tax, switches to HTML5, succeeds

The Financial Times, which is justly famed for being one the few newspapers that manages to charge for an online version and attract substantial numbers of subscribers, pulled its app from the Apple App Store last June, after Apple announced that henceforth, all transactions taking place in apps would have to pay at 30 percent cut to the company, and Apple would control all subscriber info.

The FT developed an HTML5 app instead, which can be accessed from any browser. They now claim that 700,000 subscribers use the HTML5 version regularly, and that this makes it more popular than the app they once sold through the app store.

The FT pulled its main iPad and iPhone app from Apple store after both parties failed to reach an agreement after months of negotiations.

"App stores are actually quite strange environments," Grimshaw said. "They are cut off from most of the Web ecosystem."

A simple message on the top of the FT's Web site has been an effective marketing tool, he added.

"The world outside the App Store is not cold and desperate. Discovery is no problem at all."

(via Memex 1.1)