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Minister blasts Apple over charity payments ban


By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 6 Jan 2011 at 12:19

Apple is coming under increasing pressure to allow charitable donations through apps on its hardware.

The iPhone and iPad maker has faced calls to allow donations via apps for several months, a move which would require a change to the company's guidelines that insist donations must be collected via a charity's website or by text message.

According to a report on the Third Sector website, the UK Government is now calling for an explanation over Apple's intransigence on the issue.

"I’d like to understand it from Apple’s point of view," the website quoted Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, as saying. "It seems it could be a leader with this and I don’t understand why it is dragging its heels.

"I will write to Apple in the next couple of weeks to get clarity on its position and encourage the company to be more positive and constructive."

Apple has yet to respond to enquiries on its position, but its stance is proving unpopular, with one petition - Apple: Support Our Great Nonprofits - attracting more than 10,000 signatories.

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User comments

It may appear that either their users believe they've paid an arm and a leg for their gear so they've no more money to spend or they simply don't care for charity. Or it may well be that Apple think so highly of themselves and that they are in fact being charitable by allowing so many little people to use their tech - just kidding :)

By nicomo on 6 Jan 2011

VAT up 2.5%, record fuel prices most of which goes to the Government, no pay rise for a few years. Why would I want to be able to pay by an iPhone App to charity, I can't afford it!

By r50mini on 6 Jan 2011

Minister "blasts"?

Why "blasts"? Surely "Minister questions" is more appropriate based upon your report?

I thought your better than this kind of sensationalism PC Pro!

By jefferson30 on 6 Jan 2011

Supposedly this is due to the 30% cut Apple takes from App Store sales. They can't very well take a cut from charity sales so they'll have to establish a new class of apps that don't take a cut from Apple.

And that means that Apple will either have to charge them a token fee for payment processing (thus opening themselves up to criticism for profiting at the charities expense) or eat the payment processing costs.

And then there's the difficulty with policing it. For example, a developer could make a deal with a charity to put out a "charity" app that sent 10% of all sales to the charity. That would raise the developers cut from the normal 70% to 90%.

It's much easier to just say no.

By ctwise on 6 Jan 2011

@ctwise, @r50mini

And because "no" is easier, that's what they should do?

As for can't afford it, we are one of the most affluent societies on earth. "I can't afford my mortgage, I'd have to sell and rent" doesn't really compare to "I don't have drinking water, or anything to eat", now does it?

By matbailie on 6 Jan 2011

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