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Apple Requests Removal of Gifts in LINE

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LINE is a messaging app that is popular in the Asian market. It is very popular that it has racked up to $58 million as revenue in the first quarter of 2013. Not bad for a mobile app that is mainly focused on the Asian market.

A big part of that money came from its gifting feature. LINE users can send each other rich emoticons as gifts. These stickers come in a pack that costs around $1.99 each.

But here’s the bad news for the company: Apple wants LINE to take out the gifting feature. LINE announced the request on its blog, saying that it came directly from Apple itself.

It seems that LINE is complying with the request, which would mean that iOS users will soon lose the ability get gifting coins and to send out the sticker as gifts. At the moment, iOS users will no longer be able to purchase the coins that are used for gifting, but will be able to use their remaining coins.

Android, Windows Phone and other users on other mobile OSes will not be affected.

LINE stands to suffer big from Apple’s restrictions. It gets 30% of its overall revenue comes from the stickers.

LINE’s troubles could have stemmed from a violation on its part. They could have broken an iOS rule. Which reminds us that it really helps to have an HTML5-based mobile app instead of having to go through the different laws and rules set out by different app markets.

If LINE has a mobile Web site, they could at least direct users to it. Even if they lose revenues from in-app purchases on iOS, they could direct iOS users to the HTML5 Web site.

A HTML5 Web site would also help you to avoid being a slave to the stringent and ever changing rules of app marketplaces.

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