Apple Forces eBook Apps to Stop “In App” Purchases

Just a heads up for those of you using iPads and iPhones for eBook reading through apps such as the Kindle, Kobo and Nook apps.

If you remember, Apple drew the ire from the user community for wanting to claim 30% of the revenue for in app purchases for media publications including newspaper subscriptions and magazine subscriptions. However, the eBook apps had worked around this by sending customers to their own websites to conduct the purchase with zero revenue going to Apple in this situation.

Well, Apple has made a “compromise” for these apps, specifically:

  • eBook reader apps can no longer allow direct purchasing from within the app,
  • purchases must be made from the corresponding website outside the app,
  • the app must not offer any links to their own website or external eBook stores.

I could only guess that Apple has done this to make competing eBook reader apps less convenient compared to its own iBooks app which allows in app purchases. If this line of argument holds water, I sure hope that we see an anti-competitive suit very soon as this is really quite an abuse of Apple’s position of platform owner and publisher of sorts. For me, this is incentive to fragment my media consumption across other devices, including:

  • converged devices like Android and Windows Phone devices,
  • dedicated devices like the Amazon Kindle.

As with many things, we’ll see how this pans out but its not the first time that Apple has attempted to wield its control over the platform for questionable reasons.

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