Along with iOS 15.5, Apple rolled out a new App Store policy that allows developers to increase the subscription price without obtaining user consent. In the future, people who use paid apps or services from the Apple App Store on iPhone/iPad may need to monitor their email for information about possible hikes, because if the hike falls within the thresholds defined by Apple, the subscription will be renewed. automatically.
Why is this important? At the time, Apple users had the right to refuse a price increase. Whenever a developer offered an increase on what the user was already paying, the user had the option to accept or decline it and continue using the app or service for the same price. Now developers can simply deploy a hike without asking users for permission, and those who miss the email notification might end up paying more without even knowing it.
Apple will inform users of the price increase, but will not ask for their consent
On the official support page, Apple mentions that “If you have an app subscription that makes a price increase that meets these specific conditions, Apple will always notify you of an increase in advance. You will be notified of multiple ways, including email, push notification (if push notifications are enabled), and a message that you need to acknowledge and displayed in the app.”
Instead of asking users if they are comfortable paying the new price for the app/service they were using, Apple will now ask them if they want to continue their subscription or not. Apple has already answered this question in the announcement post, saying that the method leads to “some services being unintentionally interrupted for users and they have to take steps to re-subscribe in the app.”
How much can developers raise prices?
Apple mentions that developers “who offer subscriptions can increase the price of a subscription without interrupting the service only under certain specific conditions”. The condition implies that the increase or hike must not exceed $5 and 50% of the price of the subscription (non-annual) and $50 and 50% of the price of the annual subscription. However, Apple mentions that the price can only be increased once a year without users’ consent, which should prevent any scams.