WordPress is an open source application that provides access to the open source WordPress content management system which powers countless websites. You can download the system and install it on your own server from WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is owned and operated by Automattic, Inc. It provides both free and paid hosting of the WordPress content management system.
Since Automattic submitted the open source app to the App Store and because it provides paid hosting plans, Apple believes it can force the company to sell those plans through the app. Currently, when you launch the app you can choose to log into your own server or create a free WordPress.com account.
As noted by Ben Thompson, "WordPress (and the app) are GPL, and App Store TOS and DRM violate GPL. Thus only the copyright holder can submit an app for all of WordPress, both self-hosted and http://WordPress.com. Apple is thus holding millions of websites hostage for 30% of Automattic domain sales"
According to CEO Matt Mullenweg, Apple refused to allow updates to the WordPress app until they agreed to sell plans via in-app purchase.
"Heads up on why @WordPressiOS updates have been absent... we were locked by App Store. To be able to ship updates and bug fixes again we had to commit to support in-app purchases for .com plans. I know why this is problematic, open to suggestions. Allow others IAP? New name?"
Notably, this goes against Apple's own policy of not blocking updates that fix bugs.
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You can download WordPress from the App Store for free.
Download [via 9to5Mac]