Apple is enforcing an apparently pre-existing rule in regards to apps, specifically apps for e-books.
On Tuesday Apple confirmed that app developers that sell e-books outside of the Apple Company, through a browser for instance, are also required to sell Apple e-books within that app. This means that when a purchase is made through an app and not a browser (the way the Kindle app works) Apple will get a 30% cut.
Trudy Miller from Apple said, “We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines. We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app,”
Basically if an e-book is only available through the app but not through Apples own system then the app will breaking the rules.
The Amazon Kindle app currently goes around this rule by taking users to a web browser and then users make purchases from Amazon directly.
Sony has a reading app that works the same way and Apple rejected it.
In response, Sony had this to say on its website: “Unfortunately, with little notice, Apple changed the way it enforces its rules and this will prevent the current version of the Reader™ for iPhone® from being available in the app store. We opened a dialog with Apple to see if we can come up with an equitable resolution but reached an impasse at this time. We’re exploring other avenues to bring the Reader experience to Apple mobile devices. We know that many of you are eagerly awaiting the application and we appreciate your continued patience.”
I use the Kindle App on my iPhone because I do not want another device lying around the house. Apple is benefitting from me not purchasing another device and by letting me use this free app. I hardly doubt that Apple’s pocketbooks are hurting when I buy an e-book for $12.99 from Amazon. I think it would hurt them more if I bought the Kindle device for $139 and then moved over to the BlackBerry.
I really enjoyed this love triangle I had with Apple and Amazon. But as with most love triangles someone usually get hurts and in this case it looks like it is going to be me.