Apple forces changes in e-reader apps like Kindle

If you own an iPad and/or iPhone and use Amazon.com's iOS app for the Kindle, you should see a new change in how the Kindle app works. News.com reports that due to new rules in how all e-reader apps work on iOS devices, Apple has forced the Kindle app to be changed and updated. The changes also affect other e-reader apps including Barnes and Noble's Nook and the Kobo e-reader app.

The changes have to do with how the e-reader apps handle purchases. In the past, the apps directed its users to third party web sites or services outside Apple's iOS. This was done in order to avoid having to pay a 30 percent revenue fee to Apple like other apps are required to do so. Apple's new rules now close that loophole with the e-reader apps. While a Kindle reader can still access its library of e-books from the new version of the iOS app, users will no longer be able to directly purchase those books from the app. Instead users will have to go to Amazon.com's Kindle web site to purchase new e-books and then use the app to download your new books.

This roundabout way to get new books from third party apps may cause confusion with some customers, according to Kobo's CEO Michael Serbinis. He states, "Aside from not having any links to an e-bookstore, you can't even mention your Web site or explain to readers from within the app how to purchase books and get them onto the device. It's very simple to do, but some people downloading the app for the first time might not figure it out."

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This is bad for consumers. Don't care if you like Apple or not, this is bad. I've seen many apps updated and essentially the links to the store (that open in mobile safari) are gone. Yet, there are not in-app purchasing functionality.... wasn't in-app purchasing required as well? Or did Apple back off with that requirement?

Apple being too picky aside. I don't understand how it smells antitrust lawsuit like many claim! Let's just say Walmart's, except this is brick and mortar, competitors target, bestbuy and others are allowed to sell their products in Walmart. Don't you think that Walmart have a say in how target and bestbuy can do business within Walmart store? or Am I missing something?

trollonknoll said,
Apple being too picky aside. I don't understand how it smells antitrust lawsuit like many claim! Let's just say Walmart's, except this is brick and mortar, competitors target, bestbuy and others are allowed to sell their products in Walmart. Don't you think that Walmart have a say in how target and bestbuy can do business within Walmart store? or Am I missing something?

Well, the thing is Amazon isn't setting up shop in Apple's store. They have their own store that is completely separate in terms of bandwidth. It would be like Walmart selling special Kindle e-book readers that have the links and in-Kindle store features of the reader disabled. And on top of that, making it so there are no included instruction with the Kindle that tell a user how to go about loading books on the device.

Amazon isn't selling books through in-app purchases via their Kindle App. That's why your analogy doesn't work.

What's funny is how all the iFans will somehow turn this into a positive because, to them, Steve Jobs is the Messaiah and could never do anything wrong.

It took me forever to find that "News.com reports" was a link. Would it kill you to put a source link at the end of the article? The choices in color/typography don't help much

/rant

j2006 said,
Another reason to go with Windows Phone
Don't support this communist-like business.

Don't confuse communism with unregulated capitalism. This is, no doubt, the results of capitalism.

KavazovAngel said,
Just redirect users to the browser when they click "buy"?

That's how it use to be. Supplying these links is banned if they are not in-app purchases that Apple can take 30% off the top of.

haven't they changed the rules? they required all apps that required a subscription and stuff like that to allow in-app purchases of said subscription, and the price couldn't be higher than whatever it was outside of the itunes ecosystem, effectively giving apple the 30% cut.

but I thought apple backpedaled and reverted some policies. A LOT of apps, not just the books one, would be affected by this


Either way, this smells like antitrust law suit

Julius Caro said,
haven't they changed the rules? they required all apps that required a subscription and stuff like that to allow in-app purchases of said subscription, and the price couldn't be higher than whatever it was outside of the itunes ecosystem, effectively giving apple the 30% cut.

This has nothing to do with subscriptions.

Personally, I think they should give their customers the choice. Enable in-app purchasing of the books, but make it damned clear tht the price being 30% higher is because of Apple's unreasonable cut.

TCLN Ryster said,

Personally, I think they should give their customers the choice. Enable in-app purchasing of the books, but make it damned clear tht the price being 30% higher is because of Apple's unreasonable cut.

Agreed, but if they did that Apple would reject the App

TCLN Ryster said,

This has nothing to do with subscriptions.

Personally, I think they should give their customers the choice. Enable in-app purchasing of the books, but make it damned clear tht the price being 30% higher is because of Apple's unreasonable cut.

Apple specified in their revised rules that if a purchase can be made inside the app and outside the app that the prices must be the same or cheaper for the in-app purchase.

This has already been reported months ago (about march I believe).

I am surprised that it has not been overturned though, seems a ridiculous thing, but I do sort of understand why they are doing it - consistency of experience for the user (i.e. purchasing experience)

I think the issue here is that Apple's cut for content is too large, it should be far smaller than 30%. I'm sure all concerned would be happy if Apple would take a much smaller cut in return for hosting the content (e.g. 5% maybe). Would certainly save on costs for devs who need hosting (not necessarily amazon etc, but smaller teams or individuals who really do benefit from this sort of leg up).

bugsbungee said,
This has already been reported months ago (about march I believe).

Yes, the changes to the app submission rules were reported. Those rules just went into effect (hence all the app updates to comply with the new rules). That is what is being reported.

Apple as a company is run horrible. The people in charge of it need to be let go. They run the company very communistic in practices. I will not buy anything Apple as long as they act like they have been. Since they're basically just selling a custom OS that was originally a FREE OS, BSD, I think they should sell the OS so that it can be run on any hardware. It's a lost revenue opportunity for them! I don't feel like paying more than double the price for the same hardware just because it has their little logo on it. They currently take advantage of the technologically unlearned. It's just wrong.

margrave said,
Apple as a company is run horrible. The people in charge of it need to be let go.

Apple is run like any other US corporations, to maximize profits for their shareholders. Don't know if you've looked at Apple's quarterly profits but these "people in charge" are doing their job.
margrave said,
They run the company very communistic in practices.

I don't think you know what communism is or just know that it is considered to have a bad connotation and are using it. This is completely an example of unregulated capitalism.

Dont get why people blindly love apple so much, their products arent that amazing, Android is so much more customizable and powerful and iOS..when i use an iphone i feel like it was made for 3 year olds...and apple's business practices have been pure evil

Beyon_Godlike said,
Dont get why people blindly love apple so much, their products arent that amazing, Android is so much more customizable and powerful and iOS..when i use an iphone i feel like it was made for 3 year olds...and apple's business practices have been pure evil

Here, this +60 Flameshield won't help much against the impending horde of fanboys and maybe even a Banhammer, but still... I feel happy I helped

resol612 said,

Here, this +60 Flameshield won't help much against the impending horde of fanboys and maybe even a Banhammer, but still... I feel happy I helped

Beyon_Godlike said,
Dont get why people blindly love apple so much, their products arent that amazing, Android is so much more customizable and powerful and iOS..when i use an iphone i feel like it was made for 3 year olds...and apple's business practices have been pure evil

it is a religion where their god is a half-bald zombie

Beyon_Godlike said,
... and iOS..when i use an iphone i feel like it was made for 3 year olds...

Well, when you see a two year old with an iPad in the shopping cart of a lady in front of you in the check out line - it becomes a toy. The iPhone - I dunno, but the iPad definitely.

Does anyone remember the 90s, back when Apple did this same crap. They were on top of the computing world, then went off the deep end and had to take money from Microsoft to stay alive. This is simply history repeating itself. Apple is on the top of thier game and belive they can do anything to anyone. There will be a back lash and it will hurt. Who knows if they will learn this time.

vanillaketch said,
Does anyone remember the 90s, back when Apple did this same crap. They were on top of the computing world, then went off the deep end and had to take money from Microsoft to stay alive. This is simply history repeating itself. Apple is on the top of thier game and belive they can do anything to anyone. There will be a back lash and it will hurt. Who knows if they will learn this time.

not completely true. they learned a lot from the 80's and the 90's, hence the massive cash hoard for sustainability. their legal team seems to increase by the day so i'm assuming they are expecting legal backlash and are probably ready for it. let's see how this plays out though. consumers always have a choice to pay with their wallets.

Exactly Arpit. This is Apple's comeback. This time they are ready for world domination. They are expecting the backlash.

I am not speaking about a legal backlash. I am talking about individuals wallets talking. It Apple keeps demanding 30% from the developers is it going to come out of our pockets. I know personally I am done with iproducts. They lost the innovative edge they had and are now in the milk the old cow dry stage.

ACTIONpack said,
I see a lawsuit against Apple soon.

Let's hope so. Other lawsuits don't seem to make a lot of difference though

I don't understand how Apple can get away with crap like this. Any other company would be crucified if they tried pulled this ****.

ahhell said,
I don't understand how Apple can get away with crap like this. Any other company would be crucified if they tried pulled this ****.

Yep. And it is going to catch up to them sooner or later...