Apple has cut off all updates to the WordPress app on its App Store, its Founder Matt Mullenweg tweeted on Saturday, saying Apple will not approve updates until his app includes in-app payment options.
WordPress lets people build and manage websites and blogs for free, and also sells portal domain names.
Mullenweg accused Apple of cutting off the ability to update the app to get its 30 per cent fee on the App Store.
“Heads up on why @WordPressiOS updates have been absent… we were locked by App Store,” he tweeted.
“To be able to ship updates and bug fixes again we had to commit to support in-app purchases for .com plans. I know why this is problematic, open to suggestions,” he added.
Apple charges App developers 30 per cent fee on purchases on its App Store but ironically, WordPress does not sell anything.
“I am a big believer in the sanctity of licenses. (Open source relies on licenses and copyright.) We agreed to this license when we signed up for (and stayed in) the app store, so going to follow and abide by the rules. Not looking to skirt it, hence doing what they asked us to,” Mullenweg elaborated.
Ben Thompson who is the owner of Stratechery, a subscription-based newsletter/podcast featuring commentary on tech and media news, also slammed Apple.
“I am admittedly puzzled as to why Apple is denying me updates to the open source app for my open source web site because one user of that app happens to sell domains. Also, I thought Apple wasn’t going to hold bug updates hostage anymore?” he tweeted.
“To be clear, the app doesn’t sell anything, and why would it? It’s an open source project. Apple is requiring the addition of functionality that has no plausible reason to exist,” he added.
Top media trade body Digital Content Next that includes newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post this week joined the fight against Apple for its unfair and allegedly anti-competitive App Store policies.
News publishers joined the companies and app developers like Fortnite game owner Epic Games that has filed a lawsuit against Apple.