July 27, 2011
Some Apple Mobile Apps Losing Store Links
Well, it happened. Apple finally got around to enforcing its app rule that if a purchase was made in-app, it had to go through the iTunes store with Apple taking a 30% cut of the purchase. It its original incarnation, the rule required anyone with an app that viewed subscriptions or other content to provide an option to purchase additional content at the same or better price through the app with Apple taking its cut. Amazon, among other content distributors, was fairly upset at the policy. Commentators wondered how Amazon would react. Would they pull their Kindle apps? Ars Technica notes that Apple quietly dropped the requirement that a viewing app provide a store link or limit pricing in early June. The result is the Kindle app stays on Apple devices, but the links to the Kindle store are removed. Anyone using an Apple product will now have to go through the browser to Amazon's site to make the purchase. Steve Sande on Tuaw.com writes how inconvenient this is. It take two clicks (!) to buy something rather than one. Oh, the extra work.
Any number of other publishers and online stores have followed suit. Barnes and Noble didn't waste any time either. The more interesting analysis comes from Tim Carmody at Wired (via CNN) who suggests that periodical publishers may start to flock to Amazon to get their material on the Kindle app for Apple devices, effectively bypassing the iTunes store all together. Amazon's own rumored tablet may be another attraction. Either way, Apple isn't going to be picking up much extra cash through reader apps as it turns out. [MG]