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I didn't think you could buy Kindle books in the app and had to use Safari so is this any different?
 

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Apple should get slammed, and slammed hard for this. They want all content purchases to be in-app purchases (not going through Safari either) so they get their 30% cut for doing absolutely nothing (even the content isn't stored on Apple's servers). This is going to affect companies like Zinio by forcing them to raise prices and depriving them of subscriber info. I'd like to know what's the difference between e-books/magazines and other forms of content. Is Apple going to go after companies like Grooveshark and Spotify for a 30% cut?
 

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With Zinio, I buy the magazines at the website and the content stills gets on my iPad. I'm not sure that Apple is going to change that.
 

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I read some rumblings a couple weeks ago about how Apple was moving to force Zinio to change its purchasing model. From the article:

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.
The bold part is what concerns me. Apple shouldn't interfere with how content gets into apps.
 

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If that were true then it would kill my Zinio, Kobo, Sirius Satellite radio, Economist and Globe2Go app.

The result would be the iPad would lose 80% of its vale to me and I wouldn't buy the second unit that we've been discussing in our household and would likely look for an Android tablet of similar size.
 

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This actually has the potential to tick a lot of customers off on both sides. Apparently Sony's eReader app has already been rejected. On Sony's Reader page, they say...
...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.
I am pretty sure Amazon doesn't want to give Apple a 30% cut of Kindle sales. I guess we'll have to see who blinks first!
 

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Apple says it hasn't changed App Store rules, it's just enforcing them

from the article

But Apple's statement on Tuesday would indicate that the company will continue to allow access to those purchases through, for example, a browser -- as long as the content is also made available for purchase within the application itself. That would require changes to some existing applications that offer purchases, such as the Amazon Kindle software.
 

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I guess the big question is whether the apps that have already 'snuck' through (such as the Kindle app) are grandfathered, or will they have to be removed.
 

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Another big question is if the prices have to be the same. For example, if Zinio adds an in-app purchase option you know they'll have to hike the price for the same product ~30%
 

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Agreed.

Apple needs to clarify this. For the first time, I really see why I might have to consider an Android tablet.

The good news is that with Android Tablets coming this year, Apple has to be a little more careful.
 

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This is not as ominous and draconian as it sounds. Let me explain by using the Kindle app as an example.

What Apple is requiring is that apps like Kindle in which the developer makes available addition content for sale, in this case ebooks, from their web site must also make that content available through in-app purchase.

What Apple is trying to accomplish here is a levelling of the playing field. They want to force app developers who want to sell additional content for their apps to also make it available in a way that Apple has an opportunity to earn some money as well. They just want the customer to make the choice as to how they want to access that additional content, not the app developer.

A customer can still purchase the content from the developer's web site, in which case Apple does not earn any additional revenue, or the customer can make the choice to purchase that content via in-app purchase in which case Apple will make their 30% cut. They are not forcing app developers to only make that content available through in-app purchase.

They are however going to enforce this by saying that apps that don't offer the in-app purchase option will not be able to sync that additional content with the app.

I think I've explained this correctly and I believe that this is Apple's intent.
 

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That's fine if Apple doesn't force the price to be the same between the two purchase methods. Still a pain for content companies having to maintain two different price lists and having to code in in-app purchase support. I haven't looked this up but are in-app purchases downloaded from Apple's servers? If so, that's another hurdle content providers have to overcome.
 

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Agree with NeilN.

For example, I have the Economist App. It's free and I get free digital downloads with my paid print subscription. Why should I pay an additional 30% so Apple can get a chunk?

I understand Apple deserves some Cash because servers and bandwidth aren't cheap so maybe they could charge the Economist a listing fee or $2 for every app downloaded. The Economist could then charge $1.99 for the app which I would gladly pay.
 

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Apple has made it very clear that their business model for the iOS platform is that if a developer wants to earn money from it that Apple wants an opportunity to earn a part of the proceeds as well. In addition to the App Store itself, that's what the iAds platform is for and that is what this in-app purchase system is for.

Whatever the app developer needs to do to their pricing to take in to account Apple's 30% is up to them. Apple isn't a charity, it's a corporation operating in a capitalist market and answerable to it's shareholders.

The vast majority of these 'free' apps are going to try and earn their money through ads, subscriptions, or some type mechanism in which additional purchases are required to make the app useful, ie. ebooks. For Apple, these 'free' apps do absolutely nothing and as far as they are concerned they are getting a free ride on Apple's infrastructure and platform.

Apple has created an entire platform that's created a cottage industry for developers, both big and small, to earn a very good living. To keep it going they have to make a little off it too.

Just look at what the app store has done to the price and availability of applications for mobile devices. Before Apple came out with the iPhone, there were very few applications available on mobile devices and the few that were available cost considerably more money, 10x-20x more. So if the price of an ebook or magazine subsription has to go up $1 or the ebook vendor or publisher has to eat that $1 I think that the amount of new customers this platform brings more than makes up for it.

Look at what the iPad has done to the price of ebook readers. They've fallen to less than half what they used to be and grown the market 1000x bigger than it was. The Kindle app for iOS has brought in 10s of millions more potential customers to Amazon than they could ever have hoped to attract from the Kindle Reader alone. Especially at the price Amazon was originally asking for it.

Now Apple is trying to develop a subscription system, that will no doubt be emulated on other platforms in the near future (once Apple has worked out all the bugs), for the suffering magazine and news industries. Apple, rightly so, will want a piece of that too. And when you look at the infrastructure that these magazines and newspapers no longer need to put in place to deliver their content to there customers but is now provided by Apple you can understand why Apple wants their cut.
 

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Apple isn't a charity, it's a corporation operating in a capitalist market and answerable to it's shareholders.
Wholeheartedly agree, hence why I think Apple should charge a listing fee or expect a minimum of $2 per app or something.

As a consumer, I am willing to pay a fair price for the app but I don't want to pay 30% on my reading material.

My economist print sub is $150 a year. I am not going to pay $195 a year so Apple can get $45 a year for the subscription. I am more than willing to spend a one-time $10 for the app and then Apple and the mag can fight over the share.

If Apple wants $45 a year for the magazine sub, plus $36 a year for my Globe and Mail sub (30% of $120) plus 30% of all my book purchases then they can shove it where the sun don't shine and I will buy an Android tablet.

Before I buy a second iPad, which I planned on buying in April or so when version two comes out, I want this settled.

Apple needs to remember that 30% of a lost iPad sale equals zero dollars!
 

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Well, right now we don't know what the implications are going to be for subscription based services. With the launch today of 'The Daily' we should learn more about what the new subscription model has in store for both app developers and customers. The $0.99 weekly/$39.99 yearly subscription price for The Daily may be telling though.
 

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Well, right now we don't know what the implications are going to be for subscription based services.
And that is the problem. Apple needs to come clean and tell us what it intends on doing.

I use the Kobo app and if suddenly Kobo (like Sony) is no longer welcome on the iTunes store then I am going to be very unhappy when I can't read books on my iPad anymore.

As it stands today, our family will likely replace our two touches, iphone, iPad and add an iPad and maybe even a MAC in the next 2 to 3 years.

If I can't read my newspaper subscription, magazine subscriptions and books on my iPad without paying a 30% premium then Hello android!
 

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And when you look at the infrastructure that these magazines and newspapers no longer need to put in place to deliver their content to there customers but is now provided by Apple you can understand why Apple wants their cut.
No, I don't understand why Apple should get a cut of subscription/book costs if they don't provide anything. Fine, charge $0.99 for the app but even that is stretching it. For example, there's a great e-reader app called Stanza which has links to online bookstores. You can also add links to other virtual bookshelves (basically web pages with XML markup). Baen Books, one of the few publishers who have a clue, have had an online bookstore for about a decade (or more). They added a feature a couple years ago where each account had a Stanza-compatible bookshelf. You buy a book on the website and it automatically appears in Stanza, ready for downloading. In this case, why should get Apple get a cut? And if they move to enforce this, who would they charge? Stanza or Baen?
 

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Actually, according to this blog post dated Jan. 23rd, we do know how it affects subscriptions, as well as all other apps, and why Sony is finding their app is not being approved. It was clear from the beginning, Apple was just lax in enforcing it up until now.

http://www.mondaynote.com/2011/01/23/apples-bet-on-publishing/

It looks like Apple made it clear in their terms that the in-app option needed to be there but some developers went around it anyway. Apple is now merely putting there foot down.
 
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