Apple’s Trudy Muller, talking to John Paczkowski:
“We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,”
“We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.” (my emphasis)
So there’s been no change in the rules, but we are now requiring developers to do things differently. But that’s not a change in the rules. Oh no. Citizens, we have always been at war with Eastasia.
Yes, this destroys the model that Kindle currently employs. Kindle offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, either via Safari or a desktop browser. That clearly means that Amazon must now offer the same content via Apple’s in-app purchasing, delivering Apple its 30% due.
We shouldn’t be surprised, because Jean Louis Gassee wrote about this in January:
“Three months ago, without explanation, Apple began withholding approval of new apps using the subscription loophole. Wondering publishers were left without answers.
Then came terse emails recalling the §11.1 of the App Store Review Guidelines :
11.2 Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected
with the following the punch line :
For existing apps already on the App Store, we are providing a grace period to bring your app into compliance with this guideline. To ensure your app remains on the App Store, please submit an update that uses the In App Purchase API for purchasing content, by June 30, 2011.”
Apple has a perfect right to do this, of course. But my bet is that either Amazon will ultimately sue, or it will offer content through IAP – at 30% 42% more than it usually charges. I wonder who will blink first.
- Apple: Nothing Has Changed. Except For This One Thing. (techcrunch.com)
- Apple to Amazon: Give Us a Cut of Your E-Book Profits (slog.thestranger.com)
- Apple responds: we want a cut of Amazon, Sony e-book sales (arstechnica.com)