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Apple eBook Rules Changing For Sellers

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the and-you'll-like-it dept.

Sony 584

An anonymous reader writes "In a 'pray I don't alter it again' moment for eBook sellers on apple iPad and iPhone devices, Apple is now requiring third-party eBook sellers like Amazon to also make their titles available through the Apple store, wherein the empire will take an additional 30% cut. 'Apple confirmed Tuesday that it would require app developers that sell e-books outside of their iPad and iPhone apps — through a Web site, for example — to also sell the books inside those apps. And purchases that originate in the app must be made through Apple, which keeps a 30 percent cut.'"

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584 comments

Milking it (1, Insightful)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081330)

Apple is better than anyone at getting the most revenue out of a product or service while impacting users the least. Sony is one of the worst--look at the crap they tried to do with MiniDiscs. Apple knows where to get money where it won't irritate people to the point of cutting into their market share, and they know where NOT to get money. Good or bad depends on your point of view, but nobody can milk a cash cow like Apple.

Re:Milking it (4, Interesting)

rwven (663186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081454)

The problem comes if they try to force amazon to charge the same price in-app as they do in the web store. I doubt amazon will stick around through a decision like that. They still have to make a profit too. If they can't jack their prices up for the in-app store, then their profit margin might shrink to nothing, or put them in the negative.

Currently, the kindle app is one of the the only reasons I ever pick up the iPad anymore. Apple shouldn't mess with it. I have no qualms about ditching the iPad if they do...

Re:Milking it (1)

joebok (457904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081706)

Exactly - I do like my iPad - I have it handy at home for couch-surfing, and I carry it on my commute for entertainment; 80% reading maybe 20% video. Besides safari, mail, and kindle, every other app has faded in interest. If Apple screws with my kindle app the iPad will get left behind and I'll probably upgrade to a newer kindle. If ebook prices go up generally, I will go back to the used book store.

Re:Milking it (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081794)

No, the problem is requiring them to put everything on the Apple Store in the first place.

What happens if Amazon or B&N doesn't yield? Somehow the Kindle or Nook app gets "rescinded", and stops working when next their iphone or ipad updates. And then the other booksellers have to explain to their customers why all of a sudden, paid-for books can no longer be viewed on the device.

This is monopolistic practices: the next step is Apple announcing how they have "the largest selection of books" in the Apple Store, because they've forcibly extorted Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and every other ebook purveyor to put their books in the Apple Store or be cut off from the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad market entirely.

I wonder what happened to the monopoly abuse lawsuit [windowsitpro.com] over iPhone only being on AT&T anyways...

They aren't requiring that. (1)

Brannon (221550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081878)

They are enforcing the original rules, which is that if you make an app that has a notion of in-app purchasing--you have to offer the content via Apple's in-app purchasing model, although you are free to offer the user the choice of two models and there's nothing that says they have to be the same price as far as I know.

Re:Milking it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081930)

This really looks like an empty threat to me - as one of the previous posters said, a large part of the appeal of an ipad is the kindle app. These ebook apps add immense value to apple products, all while costing apple nothing. If apple were to cut them off, they would lose market share. I doubt there are many people who would rather re-buy their book collection from apple than buy a kindle. Besides, if I owned an apple product and I started to LOSE features I had before for free, I would never buy another apple product. This applies to any brand, I'm not just an apple hater - Sony lost any potential future sales to me when they started locking down the PS3.

Re:Milking it (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081856)

So the middleman gets squeezed out and people save money by going direct to the source. How is this bad, exactly?

Re:Milking it (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081872)

Where is this site where poople buy the book directly from the source, the authors, with no intermediaries?

Re:Milking it (3, Insightful)

Saishuuheiki (1657565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081906)

Isn't this more like the opposite of that?

Apple is squeezing itself in as yet another middleman in this instance

Or, what if they start kicking puppies? (1)

Brannon (221550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081902)

That would be really awful, and *illegal*. What if you decide to start molesting goats? There are so many things to worry about...

Re:Milking it (4, Insightful)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081468)

With margins in the single percentage points for most on-line resellers, you think a 30% cut won't impact the users?

This will result either in a) fewer stores offering ebooks and thus less competition and thus greater prices, or b) stores raising their prices to cover the 30% cut, resulting in greater prices.

So tell me again how this won't affect the users?

Re:Milking it (1)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081700)

I didn't say it wouldn't impact users. I said it would generate revenue while impacting users the least. That's good business. It will certainly make some users go elsewhere, but not many. I was contrasting with the dumb decisions Sony and other companies make, where they severely limit what users can do in the hopes of increasing revenue, and end up killing the technology because nobody wants it with those restrictions (c.f. Minidisc). That's bad business.

Whether this is good for consumers in general, or for you or me in particular, is an entirely different question.

Re:Milking it (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081928)

I think if they wanted to "generate revenue while impacting users the least" the best way would be to keep going with their current model, making money off of providing decent hardware and a platform which some people for some reason tolerate.

If they really try to push 30%, they'll probably end up with less users, and eventually end up with no revenue. I think 5-10% could perhaps be justified, but 30? Why? Apple are doing no work for this. I'm pretty sure the iPad will be benefitting more from the eBook market than the eBook market is benefitting from the iPad.

Re:Milking it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081568)

Yeah, Sony is worthy of loathing here! Don't buy Sony!

(really, it cracks me up how people are able, in their eyes, to single out Sony for boycott ... Sony which, in this case, is a very open entity - their e-book readers stuff is built around standards; and generally is more of a far from monolithic consortium, with many divisions almost struggling with each other; actively involved in many universally used standards (of course, those are not remembered as "from Sony"), offering one of most open DAPs, giving us CCDs to create with... even banking, and I don't remember them being involved in recent mess)

Re:Milking it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081800)

How does George Lucas rank in your system?

ha ? (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081822)

are you considering raising the costs 30% by taking a cut, 'impacting users the least' ? i want to know which planet you are from. in the one i currently am, costs reflect on the customer.

Re:Milking it (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081892)

It's obviously cutting into their market share (for example, I don't own any Apple devices), what it doesn't seem to be doing is hurting their revenues and profits.

Misquoted (4, Insightful)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081334)

In a "pray I don't alter it any further" moment...

Fixed that for you.

Misplaced (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081522)

In a "pray I don't alter it any further" moment...

Unless they also have some rule that says the content must be at the same price they will undoubtedly need to alter it further to require that too otherwise I'm sure the content will be made available in the app...with a 30% markup to cover the Apple fee of course. This will result in nobody using the in-app purchase and everyone using the external method.

Re:Misplaced (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081934)

In a "pray I don't alter it any further" moment...

Unless they also have some rule that says the content must be at the same price they will undoubtedly need to alter it further to require that too otherwise I'm sure the content will be made available in the app...with a 30% markup to cover the Apple fee of course. This will result in nobody using the in-app purchase and everyone using the external method.

Can they display it on the receipt as "Apple Tax (30%)"? I would just love to see someone have the balls to place blame where it is due, here.

Re:Misquoted (4, Insightful)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081806)

In a "pray I don't alter it any further" moment...

Altered that for you.

Altered that for you. Pray I don't alter it any further.

no loafing! (-1, Troll)

admiralfrijole (712311) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081338)

So those who seek to profit from the platform Apple has built... will have to pay Apple for the privilege. Oh, the horror!

Re:no loafing! (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081378)

In related news, Ford demands 30% cut on Latte sales at drive up coffee shops citing in-vehicle purchase rules.

Re:no loafing! (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081380)

And everybody who sells software that could run on Windows should send Microsoft 30%, right?

Re:no loafing! (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081556)

So those who seek to profit from the platform Apple has built... will have to pay Apple for the privilege. Oh, the horror!

Sounds a lot more like "those who wish to profit and do business with apple at the same time owe apple 30% no matter what they do"... They are basically ensuring that no competitive market on any level (even below the iTunes market) can take hold since they are demanding that all app related items are sold alongside the apps in the store.

Be nice to have an article and not a login screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081358)

Wish the guy posting a link to the original article would take into account that not everyone has a paying subscription to all of Rupert's products, nor cares to.

Re:Be nice to have an article and not a login scre (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081448)

When did Murdoch by the NY Times? Also, article is not behind a paywall (was the link changed?).

Turn in your geek card (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081362)

Re:Turn in your geek card (1)

cosmas_c (1079035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081428)

Memorable quotes for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back - lol Space Fights V - The Geek Strikes Back

Re:Turn in your geek card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081494)

I prefer the stoner versions. Star Wars: A New Dope, Star Wars: The Empire Kicks Back and Star Wars: Return Of The Red-Eye.

You wanted it, you got it. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081366)

Look folks, it's a we told you so moment. You bought the shiny hardware despite the warnings that you're going to be trapped in a walled garden. You are now at the whims of Apple and it's your own damn fault.

Ridiculous (2, Insightful)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081368)

So now, not only do sellers need to give (most) of the money to publishers, they now have to give another 30% to Apple. Since I know at least Amazon sells really close to their own cost (or even less, in some cases), this would mean Amazon either needs to take a loss on eBooks sold on Apple's platform, or else raise prices.

Which is probably what this really is all about. Force other eBook sellers to raise prices, and now Apple's own solution looks much more attractive. Sure, they can still sell on their own separate website, but users will likely just choose the easiest option and get turned off by the higher prices, thus not even checking out the website.

Re:Ridiculous (3, Interesting)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081496)

Amazon either needs to take a loss on eBooks sold on Apple's platform, or else raise prices.

What's the marginal cost of an ebook?

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081564)

It probably depends a lot on the publisher.

Re:Ridiculous (3, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081620)

What's the marginal cost of an ebook?

Since Amazon can't just sell any book it wants without an agreement and payment to the author and publisher, I'm guessing the price Amazon has to pay per unit sold is very much a non-zero number. Even if bandwidth is counted as free, everyone who got the ebook to the point to where it can be downloaded wants to get paid. It isn't like you can sell the first one for $10 million and give the others away free.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081750)

Add the "free wireless 3G" transmission - Amazon pays the providers in the various country for that access, and that money has to come from somewhere.

eBook prices are rather close to printed book prices because apparently the printing costs are very low (or so I've read...) Amazon is definitely not getting this stuff for free.

Anyway... Got a Kindle, so I don't have to go through Apple. I just hope this doesn't have an effect on overall prices. I think prices went up when Apple unveiled their own book store when the iPad came out because they were giving a better deal to publishers, so others had to follow suit. Thanks Steve! (not)

Re:Ridiculous (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081680)

Amazon either needs to take a loss on eBooks sold on Apple's platform, or else raise prices.

What's the marginal cost of an ebook?

Not sure, but I suspect you have a good point. 70% of the cost of a real book is distribution, and that isn't counting printing and binding. Publishers want to maintain that 70%+ even though eBook "manufacturing" and distribution costs are so small it's difficult to measure. Apple, it seems, wants to skim the publishers' windfall.

Who's the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081608)

paraphrasing from a prior post on a highly similar topic (magazine subscriptions) by node3, available here:
http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1957424&cid=34930680 [slashdot.org]

"The iOS platform benefits immensely by being absolutely simple. If you have to buy your books individually with each seller (or each publisher) it's going to be inefficient and people who would otherwise like to buy the books will not due to the hassle involved. On the other hand, if it all goes through the very same login and credit card that you use to buy music, tv, films, apps, books, etc., then it's going to be just as easy as those things, and people will be more likely to make use of it. This also provides a significant value to the consumer over Android, which has almost no unifying feature at all (something which geeks love, but consumers hate)."

The 30% cut is just a nice little side-benefit of this business method.

( I noticed some people commented that people -can- still buy through the website.. but they should read the whole "originated in the app" bit. Pressing some button that takes the user to the website's purchasing page still means the purchase decision originated from the app - whether the legalese actually defines it as such is another matter. )

Re:Ridiculous (1)

cosmas_c (1079035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081860)

something which geeks love, but consumers hate

what are you ?
a geek ?
or a consumer ?
or both ?

I am not sure if and why geeks "love" this way but from my personal point of view options are essential, microsoft - apple - amazon - plaisio.gr I don't care

Re:Ridiculous (4, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081658)

So now, not only do sellers need to give (most) of the money to publishers, they now have to give another 30% to Apple. Since I know at least Amazon sells really close to their own cost (or even less, in some cases), this would mean Amazon either needs to take a loss on eBooks sold on Apple's platform, or else raise prices.

Is there any reason Amazon can't just sell the ebooks for 30% more in Apple's store than in its own? Unless Amazon signed some binding contract, I think any judge would laugh Apple out of the courtroom for trying to make Amazon sell ebooks in Apple's store at a loss, or trying to make Amazon raise prices in its own store to subsidize sales in Apple's store.

Also, why are publishers still getting most of the money for ebook sales? There's nothing to publish. You still need an editor and a marketer, but there's no text to lay out, no pages to print, no bindings to make, and no boxes of books to distribute. Previously, publishing was controlled by a few companies who subsequently raised prices to where they were taking an exorbitant slice of the pie. But with the Internet, ebooks, and electronic publishing, you could do it all yourself if you wanted. This is a shakeup to the industry's business model which has long been needed.

Re:Ridiculous (2)

hackerjoe (159094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081922)

Is there any reason Amazon can't just sell the ebooks for 30% more in Apple's store than in its own?

Did you read the comment you're replying to: "...Force other eBook sellers to raise prices, and now Apple's own solution looks much more attractive...."?

Since the publisher is the one paying royalties to the authors, I hope the publisher's getting the lion's share of the money from distribution. I'm not optimistic about what the author gets after that either, but that's a separate complaint, isn't it?

Re:Ridiculous (1)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081676)

I wonder if Apple would allow sellers to have both options but differing prices for each one. Perhaps the app could show the options of buying an ebook from Amazon direct for $9.99, or buying in-app via iTunes payment for $14.50.

It could be handy for someone who got an iTunes Gift Card, for example.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081734)

Don't forget, Apple sets the prices on merchandise sold through their store. On eBooks, according to Apple's own policy, publishers and developers get to suggest their prices to Apple but Apple sets the final price, whether it's free or whether you have to pay for it.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081784)

It boggles my mind that people persist in doing business with, and buying the products of, a company that so brazenly manipulates their customers. Yup, they make pretty phones. Is that really worth giving up so much?

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081882)

So now, not only do sellers need to give (most) of the money to publishers, they now have to give another 30% to Apple. Since I know at least Amazon sells really close to their own cost (or even less, in some cases), this would mean Amazon either needs to take a loss on eBooks sold on Apple's platform, or else raise prices.

This is a logical extension of existing rules.

Since you can have free apps in the app store what was happening was a developer would make their app free and then sell content (game levels, sequels to the game, in-game items) outside of the app store, circumventing the payment to Apple. So now Apple is advertising the app, hosting the app, and using their bandwidth to provide it to the user but not getting anything in exchange. Apple eventually changed the rules and required that payments for new functionality go through the app store in order to close this loophole.

The same thing was done for stuff like magazine subscriptions, comics, music, and other non-app content. Now it's coming for books.

The publishers of ebooks now have several choices if they want their products on the iPhone/iPad:

  • provide the books for free (both Apple and the publisher lose out)
  • provide the reader functionality through a web interface instead of an app (No hosting or distribution costs for Apple, more complex for the user so the publisher will probably sell less)
  • sell the books through the app store using the in-app purchase system (Apple gets a cut and the publisher gets paid)

I suppose that Apple could have chosen to charge developers hosting and distribution fees for all apps, free or paid, but that would make it very difficult for smaller developers to put products in the iTunes App Store. In the end nearly all stores need to charge for products somehow and a 30% cut is actually pretty fair in the retail world. Most publishers would be just fine with that since the iPhone/iPad is a pretty large market of people who spend money on content.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

furball (2853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081914)

The requirement is that the book has to be available as an in-app purchase. There's no requirement I've read that the price has to be the same. If someone wants to pay 30% more for the book off of an in-app purchase, that's their business.

Does it have to be at the same price? (3, Interesting)

John.P.Jones (601028) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081388)

Can they sell them at a 43% price premium so they break even after Apple takes their 30% cut?

Re:Does it have to be at the same price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081514)

Doesn't Apple set the price themselves?

Re:Does it have to be at the same price? (1)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081886)

They probably set the price for books sold through the iBooks app, but they don't set the price for books sold through amazon.com. But they are regulating that if you have a book reader app (Kindle for iProducts, Nook for iProducts), then you have to sell your books through the app as well. I can understand how this would perhaps help to provide a more consistent user experience, rather than going through a mobile website (like for Kindle book purchases).

However, requiring the purchase to go through Apple when buying through the app is retarded...If Amazon does increase their prices via the app and not their site, I won't be put out by continuing to purchase from their site. Especially since I wouldn't get my 3% cash back on my Amazon Visa card if I bought through the app. This also might make my decision between an iPad and a Kindle a lot easier, aside from the price difference.

/new ui rage
Why do we have the Idle compose boxes everywhere now? I understand that it is resizable, but it's retarded not to have it stretch to screen...
/end rant

Re:Does it have to be at the same price? (4, Informative)

alanQuatermain (840239) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081840)

If the book comes from a publisher using Agency model, then the publisher chooses the end-consumer price, and the distributor (agent) cannot change it. The publisher takes 70% of the consumer price, and the remaining 30% goes to the distributor. Apple would be charging the distributor 100% of their revenue in this case, since they would take 30% of the consumer price.

Really, Apple? (3, Insightful)

egandalf (1051424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081392)

I'm a fan of Apple and their iOS devices (though I know many are not). But I disagree with this change. To make it an option is all well and good, I'm all for it, but to make it a requirement is a step in the wrong direction. I, for one, will continue to purchase my books from Amazon.com. eReader apps help sell Apple devices. IMO, Apple should treat them with more courtesy than this.

Re:Really, Apple? (3, Insightful)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081506)

Yeah, I too like Apple, and I don't have a problem with their business practices in most cases. Hey, you make a super popular device, you deserve to profit from it, plain and simple.

But this move is adding nothing of value to the user, and simply inserting another middle-man to take a slice of someone's (in this case, Amazon) profit. I hope no one wonders why E-Book prices will most likely go up instead of down - more folks are getting into the game, which means more hands are reaching into the pot of money for a payout.

Re:Really, Apple? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081832)

As an "also a fan of Apples, and owner of an iDevice" I have to agree. This is a poor decision in a number of ways. If I were B&N or Amazon I'd have to wonder if it didn't make more sense to pull my app. They'd really rather you spent money on their e-readers anyway, iPhone and Android apps are a convenience for their customers more than I profit center I'd think. In the event that the e-readers are either pulled or charge a premium for iDevices, I probably won't buy the iPad I was thinking of this year. I mainly wanted an e-reader that could also do general computation. The premium for the iPad over a Kindle was already giving me pause (Would I use it for enough other stuff to make it worth the extra money?). Take away the e-reader part and it definitely isn't worth the money. I'll get a Kindle instead.

Re:Really, Apple? (1)

Strudelkugel (594414) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081756)


I bought an iPad primarily for the ability to read Kindle books. If this move impacts the price of those books, my iPad will almost become a very expensive brick. Of course my question: What if I buy a Kindle book on the PC, then sync the iPad? Do I have to pay Apple for that? If so, Apple becomes a rent-seeker, plain an simple, which is far worse than anything Microsoft every did. Microsoft never asked for compensation for the content I loaded using Windows apps. IANAL, but I also have to wonder if there isn't a restraint of trade issue in this policy, too.

If this goes through, I will avoid buying Apple products in the future. Given the increasing competition in the marketplace, I probably won't have to, either.

So what eBook to buy? (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081418)

We are recent iPad owners, and my wife really wanted to read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Since I didn't have an Amazon/Kindle account, I bought it for her through iBooks. Going forward, it seems at first glance that I would want all (or at least the vast majority) of my ebooks to be in the same format, so we won't have to worry as much about portability (once the iPad dies, or if we get a Kindle or an Android tablet). Does anyone have any insight as to whether or not this is very necessary, and if it is, which format/app is the best bet

At first, I thought this story was another reason for me to prefer the Kindle app, but it on a closer reading, it looks like Apple is simply saying that Amazon has to offer all it's books that are readable in the Kindle iPad app for sale in the Kindle iPad app. It doesn't look like they are forcing people to buy it there, or preventing you from reading books in your Kindle account that you bought elsewhere from being read on the iPad. So I see it as Apple using it's market muscle aggressively, but not necessarily unethically.

Re:So what eBook to buy? (2)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081696)

I don't know about iBooks, but Amazon/Kindle has made a big deal about how books you buy from them are tied to your account, so it doesn't matter what device you're using or what device you originally bought the books on, you'll have access to all your stuff. I'm pretty sure Barnes & Noble/Nook works the same way. Apple's move is just an attempt to extort more money out of the booksellers, it shouldn't have any affect on the portability of your ebooks.

Re:So what eBook to buy? (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081720)

You're mis-reading it. Example: They're requiring Amazon to allow purchase through the app, and any purchases made through the app can only use Apple's merchant setup, which takes a 30% commission on every sale (which is more than the profit margin at the moment if I remember correctly). Right now, the app opens the browser to the Amazon page where you buy the eBook from Amazon with your Amazon account and credit card.

While Apple is unifying the payment scheme for all purchases made on an iDevice, they're taking a LARGE cut which is going to drive prices way up and generally not allowing you access to a simple on-device method to purchase things outside of their market.

Re:So what eBook to buy? (1)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081744)

The ebook market and format is f***ed up at the moment, only somewhat mitigated by varying degrees of success of third parties cracking the DRM. If you buy stuff from one provider right now, don't expect it to work on a different providers later. The good news is this will probably fix itself at some point when publishers start considering the sales they are losing when people choose piracy as the superior (not because of cost) option.

Re:So what eBook to buy? (4, Informative)

log0n (18224) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081792)

What Apple is really saying.. any book purchased through the Kindle app is subject to the same 30% cut [for Apple] that app developers have to give Apple. If you buy a $9 book in the Kindle app, $3ish goes to Apple. This is way less about expanding the iPad/Kindle catalog and more about Apple thinking they deserve a piece.

The big problem with this.. Apple gets their 30% cut from apps because they handle the store, transaction and delivery/updating/maintenance for iOS apps. Kindle purchases don't rely on or require Apple infrastructure, the app is mainly a means to a purchasing end. This is a 'I'm going to take my ball and go home' Apple money grab. What's to stop Microsoft from demanding 30% of any Kindle for PC purchase?

I like Apple, but these kinds of capitalist 'let's invent more ways to make money' motives really rile me.

Re:So what eBook to buy? (4, Informative)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081864)

I'd say that portability (and, by extension, longevity) is very important, especially considering that eBooks are often not cheap. Currently ePub is a decent bet - it's supported by most readers (iPad, nook, Sony's range, etc.) and is a fairly simple open format, so even if it's not directly supported in future devices it will be easy to convert without loss of formatting and so forth. The one notable exception here is the Kindle, which requires books to be converted into its own format before reading.

The real problem, though is that if it's DRM'ed it's not portable, and can't be converted to another format. There are very few DRM free options out there, and none that do exist have the range that the major sellers do. Currently Apple forces [boingboing.net] sellers to use DRM, whether the author and publisher want to or not - I'm not sure how strong the DRM on Apple purchases is, but even so I'd recommend against supporting that behaviour by purchasing from them.

Not possible (2)

Brannon (221550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081420)

Apple can't possibly require anyone who sells something over a website to also sell it through an Apple portal. Doesn't even make sense as phrased.

This probably has something to do with vendors who have an iPhone/iPad app that jumps out of the app to a webpage for making purchases and then downloads content consumed by the app--neatly circumventing the Apple 30% cut. Still kinda a dick move, though.

Re:Not possible (2)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081566)

I think the idea is that they will simply reject your app if you don't offer in-app purchases. This is probably not a requirement that scales very well, but other than Amazon, who are they really targeting? This begs the question: If Amazon refuses, can/will Apple remote uninstall the already installed Kindle apps on various devices?

Incorrect. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081466)

The rules didn't change. You have never been allowed to buy in-app without using Apple's system. Kindle gets around it by taking user's to a website in Safari. That's all Sony needs to do to get around it. This is not a new thing. Sony just got their app rejected and seems to be looking for press because of it, IMO.

Just charge more (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081474)

So they just charge ~43% more for the book on the Apple store. That way, they get the same price, and nobody buys it from Apple anyway.

Kindle & Nook sales on the rise! (1)

Onuma (947856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081492)

It's a smart-yet-foolish move for Apple. 30% cut is a large margin, especially for not doing anything -- that's like giving a 30% tip to a waitress who screwed up your order.

For those who don't care, they'll just continue on sheeping away and giving Apple more money. For those who do, well they'll just use their Android phone, PC, Nook, Kindle, or other device for eBook purposes.

Apple Won Lots of Awards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081782)

Don't forget, for years under Steve Job's guidance Apple was winning the worse customer support award.

Since the company's inception 34 years ago they have been treating their best customers like vermin.

I don't understand why people choose their products. I know some people choose them because they are tired of the lesser of two evils, so they switch to extreme evil, but their products are not easy to use. Yes, you can get used to them and if you are a tech person, once you are use to them, you can use them fairly quickly.

I look at my grandmother and parents that aren't technical people and the iPod confused them. Especially my grandmother, she has had her iPod for years and still has troubles figuring it out. One of my cousins gave her a Zen which she found easy to use and was using it all the time until the buttons wore out.

Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081512)

This proves my theory: Apple can have their apple pie and eat it too!

Screw them all over... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081518)

Charge a penny.

And the iPad 2 drops off my must buy list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081524)

And there goes the chance that I will buy iPad 2 when it comes out. I refuse to be forced thru their iBooks tool (with an increased price for the uplift) instead of using my Kindle for all my content. REALLY bad decision here guys.

Duh: Expose the Apple tax? (1)

WickedLilMonkies (1285120) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081542)

Not feeling like reading Apple's developer agreement in its entirety, I have to ask: is there anything that prevents publishers from providing two links in their app, say one that goes to their website to purchase content and another "Apple Store Enabled" link with a disclaimer that it includes a 30% markup mandated by Apple, Inc? Or simply adding a boilerplate line in the App Store description "This content may be purchased via the publishers website for 30% off"?

Re:Duh: Expose the Apple tax? (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081640)

The first thing I thought of was just put the "buy at amazon.com and get 30% off instantly!" on any order page in their app. do what apple wants but make sure your customers know they can get it cheaper elsewhere.

So just charge 47 % more....? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081550)

I doubt it will happen, but I feel that amazon should just raise all of their prices on itunes / apple services by about 47%. Make sure that any amazon based service that directs to itunes clearly states that the increase in cost is for the use of itunes and it imposed at apples discretion.

I wonder if people would still like itunes if they knew how much apple really cost them...

find another platform to sell it on (0)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081576)

how much blood can apple squeeze out of people? I'll never own an i-whatever. Seems like you just end up bending over one way or the other with little choice.

due to error ... (1)

cosmas_c (1079035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081578)

I repost this re - formatted

by cosmas_c (1079035) on Wednesday February 02, @08:09PM (#35081428) Journal
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080684/quotes?qt0358500 [imdb.com]
Memorable quotes for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
- lol Space Fights V - The Geek Strikes Back

by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, @08:13PM (#35081494)
no http link
I prefer the stoner versions.
Star Wars: A New Dope,
Star Wars: The Empire Kicks Back
and Star Wars: Return Of The Red-Eye.

I hope you like this better

Antitrust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081594)

English is not my native language and I dont live in the US - but doesn't this violate anti trust laws like Microsoft + Internet Explorer etc.? Apple packaging their own app store, with their own product and massive disadvantaging any competition on the platform?

Please correct me if i'm mistaken I'm not very clued up on the issue.

Not a rules change, just enforcing the rules (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081600)

They didn't change their rules, they just started enforcing rules already on the books.

> 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
> 11.3 Apps using IAP to purchase physical goods or goods and services used outside of the application will be rejected
>
> –Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines

F*** AAPL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081602)

Amazon, appeal Antitrust against Apple's arrogant ass!

Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081660)

So Fanbois, what about Microsoft's business practices again?

Complaint to FCC ?? (4, Interesting)

Zelgadiss (213127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081686)

Perhaps the filing of a complain to the FCC would be in order, maybe one to the DOJ antitrust division as well.

It worked for Google when Apple tried to pull the same thing with ads.

anyone stupid enough.... (0, Flamebait)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081718)

to buy their iShit deserves what they get....

i can read any ebook downloaded (for free) from anywhere i want on my PC and my Droid... meh....

Pitta but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081758)

whilst Amazon locks out other peoples books from their Kindles I don't see that they can go complaining about sharp business practises from Apple.

Only people hurt are the users (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081776)

Looks to me like Amazon could fulfill the requirement by removing the "buy" option from the app entirely, and just having the app access already-bought books. Users could still buy though the web page, they just couldn't get to it directly from the app.

Re:Only people hurt are the users (3, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081874)

Which is what Apple wants, because then it's cornered the eBook market on it's platform killing off all competition on it's platform.

This is probably one of the worst examples of anti-competitive behaviour on Apple's behalf to date.

Microsoft wants 30% of all purchases in iTunes (0)

veci (728478) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081780)

Imagine, if Microsoft did the same: introduce a mandatory app store for windows and charge 30% for all music purchases in iTunes. I hope Amazon will develop a web based ebook reader and screw Apple.

Not just eBooks (1)

electricalen (623623) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081812)

The scary part is that the App Store rule that Apple is using to enforce this doesn't specifically say eBooks. It says that any purchase that's available from an app, must also be made available through iTunes in-app purchase. That could apply to any app that allows you to buy anything, including the Amazon.com and Newegg apps. Could you imagine Amazon and Newegg having to put every single product in iTunes and giving Apple a 30% cut? It's even more complicated for Amazon which acts as an intermediary to 3rd party sellers.

Let's hope Leia was right. (0)

f8l_0e (775982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081820)

"The more you tighten your grip, the more systems will slip through your fingers."

News at 10... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081826)

Scores of resellers ignore Apple's "request" as it's not enforceable.

Also, in other news, resellers file suit against Apple with the DOJ due to anti-trust concerns.

It's got me thinking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081834)

Well, this is the move that pushed me over the edge. I'm coming up to the end of my iPhone contract, and was looking at maybe upgrading to a newer iPhone model when the new one is released in the summer. Yesturday, there was no indecision - I would have gone for the iPhone, no contest as it does everything I want and I like the UI. Now, I'll be seriously looking at version 3 of Android as well, and if Android does everything I'd like to do as easily as the iPhone does, I may be making the switch.

Having a closed platform that works for me is one thing. Potentially preventing users from using non-apple content across multiple devices? That's abuse of position, makes people like me nervous, and when I get nervous, I start looking for a plan B.

Hey fanboys -- dig the greed monkey. (0)

unil_1005 (1790334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35081900)

how cute does apple look now?

iPhone, iPod, iPad, etc are, and always have been, simply sales platforms for Apple where they leach off of others work.

2-2-2011 introduction of the apple tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081926)

Not even the government taxes us with 30% ....

Mmmm.... Revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081936)

Revenue is almost as good as apple-smoked bacon.

rotten Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35081938)

This is something that's completely rotten, changing the rules after people have used an app for a long time. If I was Amazon I would just dump the app and serve it through a webapp for the iPhone.. screw apple for locking everything to them and making a lot of money while doing nothing.. As a developer I will think twice before creating an app for iOS..

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