Apple is tightening the App Store just a little bit more with today’s story surfacing. The New York Times has reported that Sony’s Reader app has been rejected by Apple, so it will not appear in the App Store. They write:
The company has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.
If this is the reason, then will we see similar apps such as Kindle getting pulled? The article says that not only Sony, but several developers have been told that apps can no longer sell content, including e-books, within their apps. So, customers can not have access to purchases made that fall outside of the App Store. The Sony application would have enabled customers to buy books through the Sony store, like the Kindle app currently does. The article says that Apple told Sony that all in app purchases have to go through Apple. This information comes straight from Steve Haber, president of the digital reading division within Sony.
Currently with apps like Kindle allowed on the iPad / iPhone, users don’t need to buy the Kindle hardware to be able to read the books sold through the service. That fact may have swung purchases towards the iPad, but if this decision means that the Kindle app could be pulled, it may mean that they will push sales for the Kindle market.
Apple and Amazon are currently declining to comment on this issue.
“This sudden shift perhaps tells you something about Apple’s understanding of the value of its platform,” said James L. McQuivey, a consumer electronics analyst at Forrester Research. “Apple started making money with devices. Maybe the new thing that everyone recognizes is the unit of economic value is the platform, not the device.”
There are rumors circulating that Apple may be launching it’s own subscription based service, and it could be that this is in preparation for that.
I think it’s a bit ridiculous to sell books that will only be read on one device when there really is no need for it. Not to mention that if it wasn’t for the Kindle app initially then I would probably have read very little books on the iPad because when the Apple book store was launched they had so few books on it that it was a waste of my time even searching. It might mean that current collaborations with magazine publishers get a bit strained if they too start to wonder what limits will be imposed. I worry about my current purchase though the Kindle app, which has been my preference over Apple’s book store. (iBooks app shown right)
Do you use the Kindle app? Would you be happy to have no external content or do you think this is a huge step backwards?
Update: Apple has commented on the Sony complaints.
Article Via TUAW
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