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Apple has updated its subscription policy that will allow developers to charge increased prices without having users to manually opt-into a subscription renewal. The company says that this move is to mitigate the problems faced by users who unintentionally lose access to a service because they missed a subscription opt-in message. Apple is also putting some measures in order to restrict developers from abusing this new rule. Reports suggest that the Cupertino-based company was already working on this feature and it actually ran a pilot before releasing this update for the masses.
Apple said in an announcement that with this move, it is continuing “to set the bar in making it easy and transparent for subscribers to view, cancel, or manage their subscriptions.” As per the current scenario, users have to manually agree to the price change when the cost of a subscription increases. In case subscribers miss the notification to agree to new prices, their subscription is automatically cancelled. This leads them to follow certain steps to resubscribe to the service from Settings on iPhone and iPad, or in the App Store on Mac.
Apple says with new rules kicking in, it will be easier for those who unintentionally miss the price hike agreement notification to continue using the services. The company notes that it will notify users about the price hike in advance via email, push notification, and a message within the app. Apple says it will also notify users of how to view, manage, and cancel subscriptions, if preferred.
In order to make the whole process transparent, Apple has set a few rules. For a subscription to fall under the purview auto-renewal after price increase, it is necessary that the price increase doesn’t occur more than once per year. The second condition is the price increase shouldn’t be more than $5 (roughly Rs. 390) and 50 percent of the monthly subscription price, or $50 (roughly Rs. 3,900) and 50 percent for an annual subscription price. The third condition is that it should be permissible by local law.
For example, if you are a US resident, and pay $11 (roughly Rs. 850) for a service. The subscription will automatically renew if the increased price is not more than $16 (roughly Rs. 1,245), which is $5 (roughly Rs. Rs. 390) more. In case you have subscribed to a service for $20 (roughly Rs. 1,550), the auto-renewal for the increased price will only be allowed if the new sum is less than $5 or 50 percent ($10, or roughly Rs. 780 in this case). In other cases, subscribers have to manually opt-in to agree to new prices.
It is not clear whether this change is being introduced globally, and what will be the India-centric pricing limit. We have reached out to Apple for the same.
As mentioned, Apple had reportedly been testing this new feature in a pilot when it increased the prices of Disney+ subscription in the US.
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