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Topic: Apple Moves to Tighten Control (Ebooks)

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Subject: Apple Moves to Tighten Control (Ebooks)
Date Posted: 2/2/2011 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Apple Moves to Tighten Control of App Store.


SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is further tightening its control of the App Store.

Some application developers, including Sony, say Apple has told them they can no longer sell e-books within their apps unless the transactions go through Apple’s system. Apple rejected Sony’s iPhone application, which would have let people buy and read e-books from the Sony Reader Store.


Apple is now saying the app makers must allow those purchases to happen within the app, not in a separate browser window, with Apple getting its standard 30 percent cut of the transaction. At the moment this applies only to e-book purchases.

Looks like Apple is now trying to get a share of any ebooks sold on their device's Apps. Which means if you buy an ebook on your Ipad, Iphone or ITouch through an ebook store app, they want a cut of the sale.

This shouldn't count toward books you buy on-line (and not on an Apple device) and then download books you already own to the App. But I'd look for them to try that as well if the outcry against this doesn't make them change their minds. Rumour has been Apple has been disapointed in it's own ebook sales and want to be able to sell their copies cheaper, since they won't be charging themselves that extra 30% to buy a book while in the iBook App. They already get a cut.

This'll be an interesting battle to watch. If you don't have anything but an Apple machine to read on, I'd keep an eye on the on-App price and the price on the web store. I buy from the store anyway and then download the book after purchase, so I may not have ever noticed a price difference if I was out and about and just got one from a Kindle, Nook, or Sony App. I'd just have assumed they were all the same price.

We'll see if it hits the fan or not.


Last Edited on: 8/11/11 10:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 7
M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 2/2/2011 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
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Thanks Cindy.  I will be watching this closely and the enforcement of this policy (Apple insists it is NOT a new policy - merely the enforcement of a well-known policy) also effects Newspaper and Magazine apps.  Ugh. 

Date Posted: 2/2/2011 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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(Apple insists it is NOT a new policy - merely the enforcement of a well-known policy)

Which is probably true.

Apparently Kindle and Nook Apps got around it because they sent you to their web site through Safari, (a web browser) which then didn't count as an 'in-app' purchase because it made you leave the app.

But apparently they and Apple both knew this was a way around, and gave a wink to letting it go. Sony may have rocked the boat by not using the work around,  but then again, Apple could go back and then make Kindle and Nook change their apps to make people buy from the app and not the web site. So things could change for everyone.

At least now I know why the Sony App didn't make it to the Apple Store in December. I was watching for it, but it never showed.

Last Edited on: 2/2/11 4:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/2/2011 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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Apple loves to alienate their buyers, I've noticed.  :P

Date Posted: 2/2/2011 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Another article from the other side, "iBooks & the App Store Vs. The Rest" by Jim Dovey of Kobo.


Basically, as the rules stand, he says that the 30% that Apple wants for in-store purchase is exactly what they make on the ebooks.

You can imagine how they're not happy with Apple wanting 100% of what they're making on the sale.

Plus, someone on another forum pointed out, by buying books through Apple in-app, Apple gets the information on who's buying what as it's going through their system. They suggested that that information is worth more to Apple in the long run than the 30%. So it wouldn't just be the book store who knows what you like to read.

Last Edited on: 2/2/11 5:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/22/2011 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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iThing = Any Apple device. I don't want to keep having to list them all.

Just to keep up-to-date with the Apple %30 policy, they've apparently now made clear that they expect to receive 30% cuts for Hulu Plus and Netflix. Bascially, any business that has an app on their site that takes in any money by subscriptions must offer and in-App purchase of those options and pay Apple 30% of the subscription price.

So that not only means 30% of all ebook sales, (which the total cut of the web sites is 30% for that ebook, which means that apple wants the whole cut from their competitors who sell the same ebooks the Apple istore does, while apple gets to keep their own 30% from their own store for ebook puchases. And no, the ebook stores can't raise their book prices another 30% to cover those sales. They have agreements with the publishers that say they can't mess with a books price for any reason. Publishers set the price.) but that if you buy your subscription to Netflix from Apple then Netflix has to pay them 30% of your monthly subscription.

For doing nothing other than having the app. After all, Apple isn't hosting the information going to your iThing. The web other web sites do that. Apple isn't payinf for bandwidth. You pay for it through AT&T if you're using an iPhone, or through your home service if you're using wifi. So what are they doing for that 30%? Basically nothing but collecting information on their customers, which they're not going to share with the company who's services you're actually wanting.

And they've now said that instead of allowing the in-app customer to order a book, music, a movie, a magazine or whatever through not only their app, but the customer could also older the old way, through the companies web site, they've changed their mind. They want all purchases to go through only their app. Guarenteeing them 30% of everything purchased through an iThing.

One business, Readability, is pulling out of building an App. What Apple wants would leave them with nothing. Dropbox is now rumoured to be talking about pulling their business from Apple. If you use Dropbox now on an iThing, it may disapear. Even Stanza. (my favorite reading app.)

And so could the Kindle, Kobo, B&N apps we've been using to read with. Fact is, the Apple OS can't handle a catalog of more than 3-5 thousand items, where Amazon, B&N, and Kindle have millions of books to offer. The Apple in-store app can't handle their catalog where the web-site portion of the app could.

And TxTr and Adobe Adept may have to pull their apps since they can't operate under that percentatge. Many developers have stopped their app developments until they see where all this is going.

So if you have an iThing to read on, and I've got a couple. Keep your eyes peeled, since if any company doesn't agree to Apples demands they'll be pulled 01 Jul 2011. That's going to be a sucky week, I think. All my favorites get pulled and I'll be looking at Android devices for my next purchases. No more iThings.


Amazon, B&N, Kobo know their iOS apps will be pulled in June


Apple will take 30% of subscription fees from content-based apps like Hulu, Netflix


Fallout continues from Apple’s 30% In-App Purchase tax





Date Posted: 5/11/2011 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Some new news. One ebook store has had to close down because of Apples 30% charge for all eBook puchases staring first of June.

A sad tale – iFlow Reader shutting down; they say Apple killed them; how to preserve your books


The crux of the matter is that Apple is now requiring us, as well as all other ebook sellers, to give them 30% of the selling price of any ebook that we sell from our iOS app. Unfortunately, because of the “agency model” that has been adopted by the largest publishers, our gross margin on ebooks after paying the wholesaler is less than 30%, which means that we would have to take a loss on all ebooks sold. This is not a sustainable business model.


There may be a few more smaller stores close shop as well. We'll have to see if the Kindle and Nook apps disapear as well.


Date Posted: 6/9/2011 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Apple's latest Rules Change

09 June 2011


As it stands, you currently can't buy e-books from the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo apps, anyway. Instead, they have a single "shop for books" button that boots up the Safari Web browser, where you can purchase what you please from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

According to the new rules, that shopping button will no longer exist. In other words, there can't be any link out to a non-Apple store on the Web. You will, however, be able to read any e-books that you've purchased directly from those e-bookstores.

Translation: The Kindle, Nook, and Kobo apps will simply become e-reading apps that will allow you to sync your digital libraries across devices.


The long and short of it is while you can expect some changes (we don't know exactly when those changes will happen, but as we said, Apple's original deadline was June 30), if you use an e-reader app on your iOS device, you'll be able to continue accessing your library and presumably update it. But it also appears that Apple's iBooks will be the only e-reader app that will have shopping links in the app.


Date Posted: 7/2/2011 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Apple's In-App Subscription Deadline Passes, But Two Major Names Resist

Apple’s rumored in-app subscription deadline has passed, but Netflix and Amazon have refused to “amend” their apps via an update. As a result of this, Apple could refuse to accept future updates for both the Netflix and Kindle iOS applications.



New York Times Caves, Gives Apple Its 30% Cut

The New York Times has issued an update to its iOS apps today that now allows users to subscribe to paid content through in-app purchases. The change comes a day later than the June 30 deadline Apple imposed on subscription apps that must now provide a way for users to sign up without being redirected to a website.  That means, of course, that for every new subscriber the New York Times signs up, Apple receives 30% of their in-app purchase.


Date Posted: 7/25/2011 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last I heard, Google Books has disapeared from the Apple store, and Kobo has taken the 'buy it now" link from their app.

Today Amazon has posted... Here.

In order to comply with recent policy changes by Apple, we've also removed the "Kindle Store" link from within the app that opened Safari and took you to the Kindle Store.

They say you can still buy books from your device, but have to go to their web site from Safari. So no 30% cut for Apple from Amazon Kindle, Kobo or looks like the Google Book App.

One one I think I've heard agreeing to the the cost was The New York Times, and they adjusted their rate to cover the extra cost, IIRC.

Ed. Looks like Google has done the same as the others, and removed the link. Here. Although the reply shows that one person can't download the new app.


Last Edited on: 7/25/11 9:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1