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FT pulls its app from App Store

A shortcut can be added so that it appears more like a native app

A shortcut can be added so that it appears more like a native app

The Financial Times has pulled its app from Apple's App Store because Apple takes ownership of customer data and a 30 per cent cut of subscription revenues. The two companies have been in negotiations over this for months, but failed to broker a deal.

The FT launched a web-based app for iPad and iPhone in June and has been encouraging users to migrate since then. The web-based version will soon also be available for Android.

The 30 per cent subscription model caused outrage among publishers when it was announced in February, and is a strong incentive for them to shun the iOS apps platform. Indeed, Amazon has recently launched a web-based version of its Kindle e-book reader app to avoid a restriction that prohibits apps from containing links to outside sources that sell content.

Mark Kirby, lead developer at mobile design agency Ribot, said, "Apple's strategy only works if it can convince people to sign up to it, and with people finding loopholes such as creating an iPad-optimised web app, it's possibly not the right approach to take.

"I also found the FT's web app to be much slower and less usable than their native original, so if Apple's strategy reduces the incentive for organisations to create native apps that might not necessarily be a good thing."