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Apple Allows Subscription Prices to Increase Automatically

This “pilot program” was limited to individual developers, and Apple is now rolling out these changes to everyone.

This year, Apple has been testing a feature to allow developers to silently update prices for auto-renewing subscription. This “pilot program” was limited to individual developers, and Apple is now rolling out these changes to everyone.

Currently, when a developer increases the price of an auto-renewing subscription, users must manually confirm that they will continue the subscription at the new price, otherwise the subscription is automatically cancelled. Now, with the update, increased prices can be charged even without user action.

As described on the Apple Developer site, there are some restrictions to prevent developers from abusing this feature. The main thing is that price increases cannot occur more often than once a year. At the same time, the maximum increase is $5 for regular subscriptions and $50 for annual subscriptions. In such cases, Apple will notify users of price changes via email, push-to-message. Users will also be able to easily cancel their subscription if they wish.

With this update, under certain specific conditions and with advance user notice, developers may also offer an auto-renewable subscription price increase, without the user needing to take action and without interrupting the service. The specific conditions for this feature are that the price increase doesn’t occur more than once per year, doesn’t exceed US$5 and 50% of the subscription price, or US$50 and 50% for an annual subscription price, and is permissible by local law. In these situations, Apple always notifies users of an increase in advance, including via email, push notification, and a message within the app. Apple will also notify users of how to view, manage, and cancel subscriptions if preferred.

If the price increase for an auto-renewing subscription exceeds these limits, users will have to manually re-subscribe through the app. The subscription will not renew in the next billing period for subscribers who have not agreed to the new price.