Apple told developers that it is implementing a new subscription feature that will allow customers to be charged automatically when the subscription price goes up, which is not the current way that subscriptions work.
When the cost of a subscription increases through an interface, customers must agree to a pricing change. If a customer does not agree when the warning comes up, their subscription is automatically canceled.
Going forward, developers will be able to increase the price of a subscription and have it auto renew, with customers simply being informed rather than having to agree. Under specific conditions and with advance user notice, developers can offer an auto-renewable subscription price increase without the user needing to take action and without their subscription being impacted.
There are certain limits that Apple puts on developers to make sure they don't abuse this feature. A pricing increase can't be more than once per year, and it can't exceed 50 percent of the subscription price.
Email, push notification, and a message within the app are some of the ways in which Apple will notify users of a pricing increase. Instructions on how to view, manage, and cancel subscriptions will be provided by Apple.
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.
When prices increase more often than once a year or exceed Apple's thresholds, subscribers will need to opt in as usual before the pricing increase is applied. In territories where the law requires it, Apple says it will happen.
Apple has been testing these changes, which will turn subscription price increases from an opt-in system to an opt-out system. When Disney+ increased its price to $7.99 per month, some developers noticed that the app sent out an alert rather than opting in.
At the time, Apple said that it was piloting a new commerce feature that would be great for both developers and users.