I saw a lot of buzz overnight about Apple not allowing magazine subscriptions on the iPad, and OMG how is the iPad going to save us now? Steve, you have betrayed us!
Except, well, that’s simply not true. You can buy subscriptions to publications on the iPad – I have ones to The Times, The Spectator and a photography magazine. There are various routes for selling those subscriptions, and one that’s specifically disallowed. Here’s John Gruber to explain:
Here’s the difference, I think. With Amazon and the Wall Street Journal, users set up and create their accounts on the web, not within the iOS apps. The WSJ app requires a subscription that doesn’t go through iTunes, but you create, pay for, and manage that subscription on the web. Judging from Kafka’s description of the Sports Illustrated situation, it sounds like Time tried to add its own direct billing subscription system within the Sports Illustrated app itself.
Gruber makes the very valid point that all this OMG! PANIC! would go away if Apple would just clarify its rules, though…