Apple Now Lets Developers Automatically Raise App Subscription Prices

Posted on May 17, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Apple, Mobile, iOS with 5 Comments

Apple is now allowing developers to raise the prices of some app subscriptions without requiring users to opt in. Until now, subscribers with an auto-renewable subscription had to opt in to the new price when developers raised it, but Apple is now changing that to prevent subscriptions to expire unintentionally.

“Currently, when an auto-renewable subscription price is increased, subscribers must opt in before the price increase is applied. The subscription doesn’t renew at the next billing period for subscribers who didn’t opt in to the new price. This has led to some services being unintentionally interrupted for users and they must take steps to resubscribe within the app, from Settings on iPhone and iPad, or in the App Store on Mac,” Apple explained yesterday.

With the new system, developers can now offer an auto-renewable subscription price increase without requiring users to opt in, though developers still need to respect the following conditions:

  • Price increases can’t occur more than once per year.
  • Price increases can’t exceed US$5 and 50% of the subscription price, or US$50 and 50% for an annual subscription price.
  • Price increases need to be authorized by local laws.

If these three conditions are met, users with auto-renewable subscriptions will still be notified about price increases via emails, push notifications, or in-app messages. “Apple will also notify users of how to view, manage, and cancel subscriptions if preferred,” the company emphasized.

Last but not least, nothing will change for subscription price increases that aren’t eligible for auto-renewals because they don’t meet the aforementioned conditions: Subscribers will need to opt in to the price increase before the subscription can renew.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Apple Now Lets Developers Automatically Raise App Subscription Prices”

  1. anoldamigauser

    Perhaps, Apple is thinking that it needs to raise the price of its subscriptions and is counting on folks ignoring the messages.

    • red.radar

      Absolutely. Inflation is causing lots of pricing to go up. Apple nor the developers want to loose the re-occuring revenue just because they are trying to raise prices a few percentage points.

      At least Apple is notifying you and making it visible for options to cancel.

  2. lvthunder

    What does "price increases need to be authorized by local laws" mean?

    • wright_is

      It means that this isn’t applicable to Germany, if a subscription is increased, the user has a special right to cancel the subscription and until the user has accepted the price rise, it is illegal to charge more. It is the same with changes to terms and conditions, a company can only enforce changed terms and conditions, if the user accepts them.

      Facebook fell foul of this with changes to their T&Cs in Europe, the tried to enforce the sharing of WhatsApp data and showing adverts, but they can only do that for users that agree, so they have to run the users on the old T&Cs, who haven’t agreed and new users and those that agreed on the new ones. At some point, I believe the client stopped working, if you didn’t accept and you either had to quit or accept.

      • wright_is

        That is actually a little oversimplified, I think they are allowed some room to increase prices, but the limits are tight and you always have to give the user the right to cancel. With Apple App Store subscriptions, that latter part is moot, as users can cancel at any time.