Saturday, September 24, 2011

iOS Developers Experiencing In-App Purchase Outage is reporting that Thursday night a key security feature for Apple’s iOS in-app billing went down, and has many developers worried they are losing money.

Several developers have told the verifyReceipt function is showing an error message when users try to make an in-app purchase. VerifyReceipt ensures that in-app purchases are valid, and without it developers are having a difficult time verifying legitimate sales.

The problem started around 7 p.m. PST Thurday and is still not resolved. The timing is incredibly bad as well. Friday is traditionally a busy day for purchases, but with the verifyReceipt page down developers have not way to prove receipts are valid and can’t honor purchases because of the possibility the receipt is forged.

In-app purchases for many developers are their bread and butter revenue stream. Developers will offer apps for free, or heavily discounted prices, betting that consumers will spend money inside the app on various upgrades, content, and other features. It provides a revenue model that extends for the entire lifetime of the app versus the initial purchase.

However, not all developers are feeling the crunch. Developers like Andrew Johnson—developer of an offline topographical maps app—don’t rely on in-app purchases and have barely noticed the outage.
If the outage isn’t a quick fix and carries on for days many developers could have a lot to complain about very quickly. Are any ModMyi developers experiencing the verifyReceipt outage? Let us know in the comments.


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