HMV has confirmed that the iOS version of its new digital music app, which was released last Thursday (October 17), has been 'temporarily' removed from Apple's App Store.
The HMV app allows users to purchase tracks and albums from the retailer and then download them straight into iTunes on their mobile device - effectively competing with Apple's own iTunes Store.
Apple previously gave HMV’s app its approval, but has now deleted it from its store. However, those who have already downloaded the app can continue to use it as before.
In addition to selling music, the HMV app also allows users to search for tracks using audio or images, and trial 30-second previews of songs for free.
HMV said in a statement that it developers were "working around the clock to deliver an updated version of the iOS app for Apple’s approval".
Paul McGowan, Chairman of HMV and CEO of Hilco Capital, hinted at the reason for the takedown on Twitter earlier today, writing that Apple had told him "'Remove the capability for digital purchasing or the #hmvapp will be suspended from the AppStore' on Monday!!" before adding the cheeky hashtag "#GoAndroid".
Apple did not comment on the story, but it is understood that the HMV app was in breach of the Cupertino giant's guideline 11.13: "Apps using IAP [in-app purchasing mechanisms] to purchase physical goods or goods and services used outside of the application will be rejected."
Since its launch week, HMV’s digital music store has been downloaded over 10,000 times across iOs and Android.
Katy Perry’s new album – Prism – and accompanying single – Roar – are the most popular downloads from HMV’s digital music store to date, despite only being released on Monday (October 20).
The retailer said Perry's high singles sales were significant as "HMV had, in recent years, missed out on the singles market, and [the app] marks HMV’s return to being highly influential on the Official Singles Chart".
McGowan added: "It is disappointing that Apple has chosen to suspend an app that has proven to be very successful in only a few short days despite Apple having already approved the exact same version on 15th September. We are unable to explain the change in Apple's position as we have been given no explanation by them as to any difference they view between the approved version and the one suspended this evening."
"The Android and HTML versions of the app are spectacular and are proving a big hit with UK consumers with downloads growing constantly over the last few days. They will also be launched in Ireland on 24th October and we have pencilled in a Canadian launch during November."
"The new HMV.com website is also launching on 24th October and will provide a new, content-rich environment for our customers."