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Old 06-09-2011, 10:44 AM   #1
Kali Yuga
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Apple takes a step back with subscription requirements

Apple has backtracked a little bit with its subscription / in-app purchase policies:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20...ap;editorPicks

Sounds like they will still want 30% of in-app purchases, but won't bar apps from downloading content purchased elsewhere. There will be no more requirement for in-app purchasing parity either.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:24 AM   #2
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Good.

Although.... I really would have liked to have seen Apple and some like B&N and Amazon band together to fight it, if it had gone through.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:28 AM   #3
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The requirement that prohibits an in-app link back to the provider's web store is still there, so you could still see a fight brewing...

Quote:
Though Apple will seemingly play nice with subscription providers, it hasn't necessary given up all of its control. The company also pointed out in its latest update to subscriptions rules that it will not allow app providers to "link to external mechanisms for purchases or subscriptions to be used in the app, such as a 'buy' button that goes to a Web site to purchase a digital book." Any apps containing such a "mechanism" will be rejected, the company said. Apple was not immediately available for comment.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20...#ixzz1OmzJRV7l
Here's the revised clause from the policy:

Quote:
11.14 Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app.
Apple appears to have clarified the situation and made it clear that it does apply to book purchases, and not just subscriptions, which was somewhat arguable before.

Note this is also being discussed in the original thread:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...119422&page=37

Graham

Last edited by Graham; 06-09-2011 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:42 AM   #4
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Most likely this will mean that come July 1 the various reader apps will update to remove links to their bookstores . A bit inconvenient but not too bad. I suspect there was some hard bargaining behind the scenes by Amazon and BN. I also think that the moves by Playboy and FT to build web apps independent of the ITunes store played a part. Look for more concessions as Apple moves to build it's Newsstand service into IOS 5.
Competition is good.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:03 PM   #5
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Will we see that Sony e-book application now?
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:27 PM   #6
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Good.

Although.... I really would have liked to have seen Apple and some like B&N and Amazon band together to fight it, if it had gone through.
quite possibly could have been behind closed doors. would have been major bad press if Amazon and BN pulled out of apple's app store.

It's nice to see Apple blink every now and then.
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:23 PM   #7
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I wonder what this means for Bluefire/BAM and to a lesser extent, txtr.Can they justify continued development costs without being able to connect to a storefront from the app?

Also unclear is if Apple will remove existing apps from the App Store that no longer comply with the guidelines, or will the clarified policy only apply to future apps/updates?
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:58 PM   #8
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Good to see that Apple backed down some on such a bad policy.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
Most likely this will mean that come July 1 the various reader apps will update to remove links to their bookstores.
Who called that? That's right, I did. And once again the chicken littles are shown to be wrong. The sky isn't falling. B&N and Amazon are not being kicked off the iPad.

Lee
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:54 PM   #10
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Who called that? That's right, I did. And once again the chicken littles are shown to be wrong. The sky isn't falling. B&N and Amazon are not being kicked off the iPad.

Lee
Indeed. I remember during the older thread, when people were excoriating Apple for not being clearer about whether the policy applied to ebooks, I said that was because they were NEGOTIATING the issue with Amazon and the booksellers . Oh no, they said , it was because Apple was EEEVUUL, etc, etc, etc.
Well, I was right again.
People here are consumers, so its natural that they just didn't understand business negotiations. In negotiations, you typically take maximalist positions in public, and negotiate in private from there.
I'm sure Apple wanted Amazon and BN to agree to in-app purchasing on their terms. Of course, Amazon et al. wanted to continue to remain-rent-free- on one of the most popular and lucrative merchandising platforms on Earth. In the end, they compromised.
The booksellers can stay on the platform, but they lose the ability and convenience of selling directly from apps on the platform. Consumers have to buy content elsewhere, but they can continue to read it on Ios devices. For a lot of tech savvy consumers, that's OK.
Apple OTOH, maintains the attractiveness of its platform by having the popular ereader apps remain on the platform, as well as the (perhaps even more important) Netflix and other video apps. It also enhances the advantage of its iBooks app. Less savvy consumers will more likely purchase from the iBooks app, with its one click purchasing from the same window the consumer reads from. Heck, if iBooks beefs up its selection and its recommendation/search engine to anything even close to Amazon's, we will see a LOT of movement of consumers toward iBooks on Ios devices.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:58 PM   #11
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Will we see that Sony e-book application now?
Excellent question - I hope Sony puts out some information on this soon.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
Who called that? That's right, I did. And once again the chicken littles are shown to be wrong.

Lee
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
Indeed. I remember during the older thread, when people were excoriating Apple for not being clearer about whether the policy applied to ebooks, I said that was because they were NEGOTIATING the issue with Amazon and the booksellers . Oh no, they said , it was because Apple was EEEVUUL, etc, etc, etc.
Well, I was right again.
Now I am confused. Was leebase right, or was stonetools?

Or who was right first?

We gotta get this settled. I mean someones gotta eat crow!
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:47 PM   #13
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Now I am confused. Was leebase right, or was stonetools?

Or who was right first?

We gotta get this settled. I mean someones gotta eat crow!

hey, you weren't here when LB, I and others were being called idiots and worse for even thinking that the issue would be resolved this way. We are entitled to our little happy dance.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:53 PM   #14
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Who called that? That's right, I did. And once again the chicken littles are shown to be wrong. The sky isn't falling. B&N and Amazon are not being kicked off the iPad.

Lee
While I agree that the issue was overblown by those who have an emotional hatred for Apple, there is still enough of the new subscription requirement remaining to cause concern for the more reasonable folk.

I think that all bookstores should pull out of the iOS market and stand their ground. They can certainly frame the debate so that it is clear that Apple is the one who changed the rules mid-race.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:10 PM   #15
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While I agree that the issue was overblown by those who have an emotional hatred for Apple, there is still enough of the new subscription requirement remaining to cause concern for the more reasonable folk.

I think that all bookstores should pull out of the iOS market and stand their ground. They can certainly frame the debate so that it is clear that Apple is the one who changed the rules mid-race.
The booksellers got what they wanted, which is to remain on the IOS platform and to continue to have access to those 200 million free spending iOS users. They are content. Abstract questions like who changed the rules or even who won means less to them than to us.
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