Automatic Subscription Renewal - Differences with non-renewable subscription

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I have a question regarding in-app payments for iPhone apps. I thought the only difference between auto-renewing subscriptions and non-renewing subscriptions was obviously the self-renewing thing. But as I read through the documentation it seems that there are other important differences. This is how I understood it:

Auto-renewing:

  • user can disable auto-renewing (so it might behave like a non-renewing subscription)
  • is restored after a device reset
  • is automatically transfered between different devices on the same iTunes account
  • can only be bought once (as long as the subscription is still valid)

Non-renewing:

  • the developer must handle license restoring after device resets
  • user can buy the subscription more than once at a time

Is this correct?

I seems like auto-renewing subscriptions are way better for my app, even though I don't need the subscription to necessarily renew automatically.

But, as an additional question, when I added a new product in iTunes Connect, I had only the choice between "Consumable", "Non-consumable" and "non-renewing subscription" - but no auto-renewing subscription?!

Best regards


I think you get the differences globally.

Some corrections however:

  • is restored after a device reset
  • is automatically transfered between different devices on the same iTunes account

Not really, it's up to you, in your application, (usually in the dedicated "store" part of your application) to propose a restore subscription so that the user will be able to get back his subscription on this iOS device (this may be needed if he resets the device as you said, but also if he deletes the application and reinstall it). The restore action (triggered in your code via StoreKit) will automatically prompt the user for his iTunes password, so this cannot be done automatically without user acknowledge.

  • user can disable auto-renewing (so it might behave like a non-renewing subscription)

yes this can be achieved from the settings in the iPhone, in the "store" part, and then display for apple ID properties: the user will get a view with all his on going subscription + a switch to disable the auto renewing.

  • when I added a new product in iTunes Connect, I had only the choice between "Consumable", "Non-consumable" and "non-renewing subscription" - but no auto-renewing subscription?!

I also had this at the beginning, the reason for that is that you didn't acknowledge a part of the contract (Amendments) that is specifically related to autorenewable subscription. As far as I can remember, go to the Contracts, Tax, Banking part of itunesConnect and you should have something to agree on, then you'll be able to create auto-renewable in app purchase.