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Wow. Apple blinks first.
It’s rare to see Apple back down from anything when it comes to content on its ecosystem. They tend to set the rules and providers (music labels on iTunes, app developers, others) live by them. But Apple has just backed down from a condition for content providers in its app store. The new rule is that content providers can offer customers a link to subscribe outside the app store, they just aren’t allowed to post a BUY button to purchase stuff directly. Under the old rule, which was set to take effect this month, those same content providers would have to offer the same things at the same or lower price through Apple’s store. This might seem like no big deal but it’s a loosening of the Steve Jobs iron fist. Yesterday, we told you about the Financial Times challenging Apple by making a browser based app in HTML5 that circumvented the app store. Today it seems less likely that Apple will bring the (brushed steel, curved edge) hammer down on that.