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In June 2011, the Financial Times broke ranks with other major publishers when it launched an HTML 5-based mobile app optimized for the iPad and iPhone. The app runs on the mobile devices' Safari browser, as opposed to being a “native app” designed to run on Apple's iOS operating system. The app is not available through the iTunes App store.
At the time of the introduction, Apple was about to require that any sale of content within an app must go through its store. The rule was incompatible with FT's “all access” model, which allows subscribers to access digital content on any device for one price. In November, Apple changed subscription rules for publishers when it launched Newsstand. FT stayed the course with its Web app, although Android users can download a native app from the Google Play shop.
Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com, said, “FT has experienced tremendous digital growth since the launch of our Web app.”
An FT spokesperson said the Web app has more than 2 million users, while the FT Android App has more than 160,000 users. Nineteen percent of the traffic to FT.com comes from mobile devices. That includes users of the Web app, the mobile website, the Android app and the FT India app, which debuted in December.