It looks like the worst fears of many who read this morning’s New York Times story on Apple’s rejection of Sony’s Reader app have been confirmed: From now on, Apple effectively wants in on all ebook apps for sale in its App Store.
“We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,” Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller told Ars. “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.”
This presents a major headache for Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Currently, both booksellers have free apps in Apple’s store, which redirect users to web-based checkouts when they attempt to buy books; now, if Apple’s new rules hold up, they will have to offer the option to buy their ebooks directly within the App Store, meaning Apple gets a 30% cut of sales. The big question: What if Amazon decides not to play by Apple’s rules and simply withdraws the Kindle app from the store? Apple knows it has a popular platform in iOS, but if popular apps leave due to the company’s rapaciousness, it could hurt Apple more than the publishers.
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