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Old 02-13-2011, 12:14 PM   #1
Neil
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Apple To Rip Apart Ebook Marketplace?

I have not seen this here on Mobileread as yet and can't find it in a search so if this is NOT new to you all, I apologize. But I think it is pretty important and it was the front page article over on www.joyofipad.com this morning.

It is hard to believe that Apple could be doing something that would result in the loss of the Kindle and the Nook apps and probably almost every other non-Apple ereader -- but according to Newsweek (at this link) it seems more than just possible. Right now the rule for developers is that if a user buys something while IN an app, Apple gets 30%. Amazon and B&N and other places have gotten around this by invisibly transferring out of the app itself into a browser when you buy ebooks. No more. Apple now says that developers who make ebook readers with a store attached must make it possible to buy from within the app as well as from outside the app. (Keep in mind this means no "invisible" transfers outside the app without an alternative method). So far the only CEO commenting is Dennis Moren who makes the iFlow Reader app. "I've wasted a year of work," he says, claiming Apple's rule would make him actually lose more than a dollar on every book he sold and, "I'm so angry I can hardly see straight."

Apple may get away with small developers simply not being able to see straight and walking away. Does anyone here think that Jeff Bezos at Amazon or the seven trillion lawyers at Barnes and Noble will simply shrug their shoulders and walk away from a multi-kajillion dollar ebook market? If Apple is stupid and greedy enough (no other wordage seems possible or more objective) to continue this policy successfully we predict that the iPad as an eReader will be dead. On the other hand it also seems to us that if they are actually stupid enough to take this to court they may well find that their 30% take on ALL in-app purchases is struck down under various Fair Trade laws resulting in the loss of many, many millions in sales to Apple far beyond ebooks. If ever there was a lose-lose situation for Apple if they continue in a policy -- this is such a situation.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:59 PM   #2
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Thanks for the article, but this has been discussed extensively in this thread.

Last edited by HarryT; 02-13-2011 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:36 PM   #3
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First books, then what?

I do website consulting for a Fortune 500 consumer goods company. We are developing iPhone apps where you can browse the product catalog, then you are handed off to Safari for checkout. Is Apple going to ban this too? What about Amazon's shopping app (not the Kindle app, the physical goods one.) I buy my groceries via FreshDirect (internet grocer) and they have an iphone app too. Is Apple going to take a cut on my eggs and milk?

eP
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:50 PM   #4
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Hi,

It is funny how we used to pick on M$ for its "embrace and extend" approach to taking over standards. When you look at recent history about Apple and ebooks you really do have to question if they are out to destroy the marketplace:

1. using "yet another DRM format" so that their ebooks could not be read anyplace else

2. leading the charge with "Agency Pricing" to try and break Amazon's "too low" pricing

3. again ignoring the epub ebook standard to create an Apple only fixed layout epub (px based) to replace the role of pdf which is now a fully open standard.

4. changing policies to steal profits from, or drive away many competing ereaders/ebooks

I am a longtime Apple user (remember Mac SE's anyone) and even a shareholder, but I am very upset about their actions. I bought an iPad because of what you could do with it (read almost any type of ebook, surf the web, etc) and paid top dollar for it.

Now it seems Apple, in its greed, is trying to make my iPad less useful to me by trying to get a piece of all content and/or drive away my favourite apps. I don't mind a walled garden, I do mind a walled garden where the walls grow selectively to prevent good apps from being used when those same apps were used to help "sell" the original devices.

Sad really. We have gone from a world of M$/Borg to Apple/Borg in just a few short years. I personally hope Amazon, Sony, Kobos, B&N, etc fight this tooth and nail and simply leave the iPad/iPhone platform if Apple does not wake up.

With Android 3 (Honeycomb) and new tablets like Motorola's Xoom and Samsumg's Galaxy Tab II, I don't think I would have to give up much (and might even gain) by moving to a different tablet. I don't really want to but I will if Apple keeps going this way.

I really hope Apple wakes up and stops this nonsense. Apple seems to have forgotten their "customers" in all of this. That is always a fatal mistake.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemenoP View Post
First books, then what?

I do website consulting for a Fortune 500 consumer goods company. We are developing iPhone apps where you can browse the product catalog, then you are handed off to Safari for checkout. Is Apple going to ban this too? What about Amazon's shopping app (not the Kindle app, the physical goods one.) I buy my groceries via FreshDirect (internet grocer) and they have an iphone app too. Is Apple going to take a cut on my eggs and milk?

eP
Yes, you will have to pay Apple a 30% cut of in-app sales. And yes, FreshDirect will also have to pay Apple that 30%.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:01 PM   #6
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Apparently, no, if you handoff to Safari or other web browser you won't be charged the 30%. BUT if you do so then Apple will require of you another way people can choose to buy that is not handed-off and will be a 30%-to-Apple in-app purchase. So they are not killing the handoff to browser (which I am guessing as a non-lawyer would be almost certainly actionable) but making it less convenient, harder to program and to access and more confusing all of which whould result in more, I guess they think, revenue to Apple.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:05 PM   #7
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Hi,

With Android 3 (Honeycomb) and new tablets like Motorola's Xoom and Samsumg's Galaxy Tab II, I don't think I would have to give up much (and might even gain) by moving to a different tablet. I don't really want to but I will if Apple keeps going this way.
Yes, but how long will it be then before Motorola and Samsung tighten the screws? The problem here is not Apple. It is the Harvard Business School mentality of the business people that companies who become more and more successful and rich tend to hire. Under the Harvard philosophy of Business one does not serve their customer base so much as milk them!
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:28 PM   #8
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Please continue this discussion in the original thread referenced in post #2 above.

Thank you.
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