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back to article Apple tightens rules for iPad news delivery

Apple is putting the screws to a handful of European newspapers, no longer allowing them to provide their paid print subscribers with free access to their content through downloads into iPad apps. Whether this is the beginning of a wider crackdown is not yet known. "Apple verandert de regels terwijl het spel bezig is," Gert …

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Apple's walled garden is getting spikes on the wall

I love much of what Apple does with the design and work with they computers and other electronic products but they have always felt too restrictive to me and every time I start to weaken and seriously consider purchasing one they go and do something like this.

Even with its moronic lack of expandability and brain dead port expansion components the iPaddle was starting to suck me in but this will just kill it for me. Do you think that content publishers will be satisfied with a 30% loss in revenue or do you think they will either raise their prices to compensate for it or move to another platform (Android perhaps). Either way the people that ultimately get hurt and pay the price are Apple customers who from the start are paying a premium.

What is next? Apple telling their customers that they can only get software for their Mac or Mac Book from iTunes also?

Sorry but I will not give my money to people who feel that they can treat me like an idiot and expect me to say thank you for the experience. I mean seriously what rational in the world can justify the lack of an memory card slot on an iPad at the price that it is selling for other than a desire to control the customer and restrict their choices?

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Jobs Horns

Hmmm....

'What is next? Apple telling their customers that they can only get software for their Mac or Mac Book from iTunes also?'

As soon as they think they can get away with it? I'd bet on it...

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MrT
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Pirate

Well...

...they have just developed the App Store for use on their desktop and laptop ranges as well, which is no so much a step as a leap in that direction.

http://www.apple.com/uk/mac/app-store/

"Buy, download, and even redownload." Just like every other piece of online software then. Look out for the day they start renting it all out, like some kind of SAAS-style slot machine at 10p per level on Angry Birds.

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Gold badge

Read the article again

It's pretty simple to see why Apple are doing this.

Newspapers are releasing free applications to customers and then are charging them for content via their own servers. So for all the work Apple does to host the app, test it and "promote" it on the app store Apple get sod all.

Can you imagine any other online service allowing that? imagine if someone found a way around ebay listings and fees. Would ebay just sit there and let it happen? of course not.

As for SD card slots. Cheap cards create a huge number of problems. Also as a software developer you have to handle removal of the card while it is in use, the situation when someone removes the card and something important it on it.

Plus if someone puts a cheap card in that goes bad and their device misbehaves then Apple stores have to waste their time proving that is the case. Apple could produce their own authorised cards, but people would complain they cost more.

What would you put on the card anyway? music? iTunes handles synchronising of music so that wouldn't work. iPad has no user accessible file system in the same way desktops do. So you can't exactly copy things around. If you look at how Windows Phone 7 does it then you'll see it's not as simple as shoving an SD card slot on it.

In WP7 the card becomes locked to the device and the card becomes mapped as an extension of the internal memory. Sounds good yeah? wrong, the phone will fail to be usable when the card is removed. So you can see that if your card goes bad or someone steals it you will be left without a working device.

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Pint

You sound like someone with Stockholm syndrome...

...trying to justify why the guy in the balaclava just kicked in your teeth.

To each his own.

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Anonymous Coward

I think they already are but.....

The problem with Android is that there's no billing mechanism built in and (as a result maybe) Android owners are much less likely to pay for content. (I'm an iPhone developer so we've looked into these issues)

I suspect most newspapers will just drop their support for iPad and use a website formatted for iPad instead. Is there really any difference especially with HTML 5 around the corner?

I think it's very shrewd however that Apple used those smaller newspapers to supply them the content to make their device viable and then pulled the rug out from under them. It's not like they haven't pulled that trick before.

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FAIL

@ Giles Jones

"Newspapers are releasing free applications to customers and then are charging them for content via their own servers. So for all the work Apple does to host the app, test it and "promote" it on the app store Apple get sod all."

Actually by having those apps from higher end publications they draw in new purchasers of the iGadgets.

As Jobs doesnt allow you to install stuff from anywhere but iTunes he can now do this, had it been the case from the start I doubt any publication would have gone near the app store or Apple products if they had to surrender 30% of subscriber value to be able to deliver content to some of the readership.

The simple solution for the content providers is to drop the apps and run a web based version only thats runs on the flashless browser of the iPad/phone, then they can serve there own content, run there own subscriptions, serve adds and leave Apple with zip.

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Jobs Horns

@ Giles Jones

The next step will be forcing all payments made through iOS's browser to be routed through iTunes first. They need to take take their 30% off that Amazon order you just made? That's what this may as well be.

I'm not sure how you can even try to sugar coat it, but it was a valiant effort.

Also Android handles SD cards just fine.

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IT Angle

There's a way around it all...

...and it's called doing it yourself.

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Anonymous Coward

you started well,,

Your point regarding the newspaper apps is a good one. It has a few flaws but that’s entirely due to the way apple do business full stop...

If apple allowed you to install software from other repositories other than iTunes then they wouldn’t be losing revenue from the cost of delivery of content from their servers. The other point is that there are many apps for the iphone that are "free". They make money from the use of adverts in the app, Do apple also demand a cut of the revenues from these apps?

Regarding the memory card issue. There are plenty of bits of kit that have no problem with SD cards and the removal while in use. Expect data loss. End of story...

Also, with the quality of the display, a memory card slot on a fondle slab would make it a compelling bit of kit for a photographer. But alas, i believe the lack of card slot is more about protecting revenue than any other technical reasons.

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WTF?

@ Giles Jones

Why don't you wake up and smell what you are i-shovelling? Seriously, get f*cking grip.

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@Giles Jones

I entirely disagree.

The issue here is that these are already paid subscribers and the magazine/newspaper is just allowing them electronic access to something they produce in print.

Apple are basically saying, "yeah, we want a cut of your print sales".

I agree with the other commenter: these publishers need to move to web-only and just provide an "app" that opens a cut-down browser to their website.

I find Apple's walled garden philosophy normally quite baffling, but this is one of the first articles I've read where I can only describe my reaction to their actions as disgusted.

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@Giles Jones

That was truly spectacular. If you aren't already paid by Apple to be an apologist...you should be. Seriously sir, bravo.

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At what point does this get anti-competitive?

Apple start making life harder for other content providers, forcing them to modify their apps and possibly take them temporarily off market (as well as making them less profitable/less appealing to end users), right before releasing a joint content venture of their own? Cupertino really do like walking that fine line, huh?

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Jobs Horns

A very fine line

Seeing as they're doing it just when consumers are going to have a ton more choices for touchscreen tablets, I think they get away with this one.

Dunno what it'll do to their market share when the content providers have to start telling their customers that they'll either have to pay for a separate digital subscription or switch to an Android device. Seeing as the Apple target demographic has money to burn, they might still get away with it.

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Stop

It already is

If this pans out to be true then it is 1:1 the same as the iTunes music only for iPods restriction that was successfully challenged in Norway and elsewhere. Precedent in Europe at least. Of course, this may all be buried in some non-disclosure agreement between publisher and distributor and revenue-desperate publishers might be tempted to sign up which would mean individuals have to initiate action.

About the money - this is probably less about a chunk of subscription (as with app distribution the costs are likely to be the same) than it is about the possibly more lucrative advertising revenues of the kind of premium content that the iPad is likely to attract - The Economist is full of ads for Swiss watches - and "owning" the relationship with the customer: "If you like The Economist you might like..."

Regarding the app itself - as I was able to try before I buy The Economist on a friend's iPad I could read it with my existing subscription. Would be a real pity for Apple to drive a coach and horses through that.

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Nya
Grenade

Re: At what point does this get anti-competitive?

The sad thing is, to the general public all they see is gloss and shine, and ignore the damage to freedom, choice and a competitive market which follows Apple wherever it ventures. As Greg mentions about anti-competitive, the unfortunate issue is no one does anything against them. We all know how bad it is with Apple's own personal militia the "evengelist" which has been running since the 80's to flame anyone who dares tell the truth about Apple.

The end result is a press who is in Apple's pocket, and won't step out of line due to the aggro it produces. Without press support, politico's don't do anything as it's not a vote winner. It's not like the politico's are supposed to do things for the general sheep like public is it?

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WTF?

I may not be a trend-setter ...

First I got an ipod,

then a few more,

then an apple tv,

then a mac,

then an ipad,

then I looked into buying an xserve for business,

then Steve killed it,

then I thought "you were kind of pissing me off even before you pulled this one"

and I got an Android Phone

and then another one

and now I'm looking for a new Win 7 computer.

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FAIL

Started well

Massive fail on the last line. Out of the frying pan into the fire.

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Grenade

...after irreparable harm is done.

> At what point does this get anti-competitive?

After irreparable harm is done and Apple controls enough of the market to make everyone's life miserable. That is the nature of many laws: clean up the mess after the murder/rape/assault/gross negligence has occoured.

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WTF?

Restrictions?

"iTunes music only for iPods restriction"

No such restriction does, or ever did, exist.

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I've heard that free Apps do exist [/sarcasm]

30% of nothing is nothing.

I'm not sure exactly how this might work with a end-user customer having a paid subscription to a paper hard-copy newspaper, and thus gaining *free* access to the same content electronically. But if the e-content is free for certain end-users, then see line 1.

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One step too far

Up until now I've been on Apple's side in the debate. Unlike many Apple detractors on this site, I believe that having a partly walled garden isn't necessarily a bad thing for most consumers because of the vastly improved user experience it offers. Combine that with the fact that 99% of consumers don't care about being able to install hacked apps onto their hardware or do all those things that techies believe are essential.

iTunes app store has been a fantastic launching pad for many smaller software studios, allowing them to reach an audience they could never have dreamed of without Apples infrastructure. The 30% cut that apple take from these developers in return for distribution of their products is reasonable when you consider the cost to a small-time developer in infrastructure to do the same (and that isn't counting the potential marketing costs as well).

However, I believe that forcing content providers to manage their subscriptions via iTunes is one step too far. These are not apple's customers, they are the content providers customers, and the relationship belongs to the provider.

If Apple want a cut of this then the most they should expect is a fee from the provider per download of their app (in return for being an agent in the software distribution process). Whether the provider chooses to pass that fee on to the customer through charging for that app is up to them.

Apple are certainly playing a very dangerous game. As HTML 5 matures, providers will be able to migrate towards browser based products and continue to provide and similar level of end-user experience in their content. What will Apple do then? Block URL's in their web browser to those content providers services. The minute that happens they are dead in the water as a provider of the "mobile devices" that they claim is now their core business.

Come on Apple, you didn't create the content, don't expect a cut of the revenue.

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Jobs Horns

Agree

When I pay my annual subscription to The Economist I don't see why Apple should get 30% cut, the App might be a tiny free download from Apple's servers but the content each week comes from The Economist's servers.

This could be a step too far for Apple, oh and Murdoch's newspaper is going to have all the success of Ping IMO.

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Alert

Server space

"but the content each week comes from The Economist's servers"

At the moment, maybe. I'm betting that they want to push that content into Apple owned servers though.

Digital content being delivered with a cut being taken... huh. I really hope no-one explains to Steve Jobs how the Internet works - he may insist on hosting the Internet for iFans...

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Anonymous Coward

Success

It's kind of a sign of success for a company, I think. When you stop thinking about looking after your business and start worrying about controlling everyone else's you know you're in the big leagues.

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On the positive side...

Apple as publisher will now be jointly liable to every defamation case that the newspapers face.

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Thumb Up

really...

yay!

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Who knows?

Who knows? With Apple's intense desire to control their customers, a few of us might chuck our smart I-whatever for the good old fashioned pc.

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Not surprised in the slightest ...

When Apple came for the alternative app stores,

I remained silent;

I was not a alternative app store operator.

When they locked out jailbreakers,

I remained silent;

I was not a jailbreaker.

When they came for the Flash and interpreted code,

I did not speak out;

I was not a Flash or interpreted code user.

When they came for the content creators,

I remained silent;

I wasn't a content creator.

When they came for me,

there was no one left to speak out.

Because of their continual need to try and control how I use a product that I've purchased, I've avoided Apple products for the last 7 or 8 years and each day I feel more and more justified in doing it. As bad as the Apple situation gets, the real trouble will come when Google decide they don't need to play nicely any more and start rocking the boat in the same way as Apple are doing now. The ripples will be like tidal waves for a lot of businesses ...

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Anonymous Coward

Nice comparison

Because Apple being unreasonable dicks about what apps they allow on their products is comparable with the Nazis murdering tens of millions of people.

You need to get some fucking perspective.

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9

The comparison is correct.

Although originally and famously about the Holocaust, the prose being referred to is actually a commentry on humanity, and are still valid when applied to Apple. See also "Bystander Syndrome".

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Coat

Bye bye Internet, hello Applenet

And some fanbois still have the cheek to downvote comments that call them gullible.

<-- I'll get me coat. Thankfully it's not a mac.

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FAIL

Nope, I downvote them because they are trite

Really? You're suggesting that a move by Apple to screw money from newspaper publishers is going to be the end of the Internet?

Really?

And you want to be up-voted on that?

The newspapers, bless 'em have cottoned on to the fact that they can make some money by erecting paywalls. Paywalls that people can burrow through by paying cash and using either a Web browser (or at a premium) an iApp. Apple's decided that it would like to screw some money out of them. for the iApp access. Does that look money grasping? Yes. A threat to life liberty and UDP?

Apparently you think that Apple's move means that I won't be able to use IRC soon. But no, you're confusing the Web and the Internet.

So you think that Apple demanding payment for iApps will somehow close down the Web. How about the possibility that Apple charging for iApps will actually make the vanilla Web more attractive and stronger?

You sir deserve all the downvotes that you can garner.

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Happy

Hmmmm

"You sir deserve all the downvotes that you can garner"

Which seems to be approximately none at time of writing.

If you want a glimpse of the future look for an online film called EPIC 2014. It's about eight minutes long, IIRC, and worth every second.

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I've said this before...

Jobs is a controlling, egomaniacal, anti-competitive Big Brother from hell but he's clearly a savvy businessman. Those who enter his domain should know that he can (and if you're wildly successful without giving him his cut, probably will) pull the rug from under your feet.

If developers still choose to play the App Store game despite knowing fully well that Apple exercise total control over what is and is not allowed and move the goalposts regularly and arbitrarily, they can't then be surprised when it happens to them.

In the early days of the App Store, developers had every right to cry bloody murder when Apple decreed from on-high that their application wasn't allowed any more but now *everybody* knows they do it. Accept the risk or keep away.

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Jobs Horns

Can anyone say...

Restrictive monopoly?

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Big Brother

New Corporation?

Thought it was called News Corporation.

Maybe Apple should rename it the FoxiPad.

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Glad I have held off buying an iPad.

First they sower the patch with iAdvert.

Now this.

Certainly caused me to take iPad off my Birthday and Christmas list.

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Jobs Horns

Baaaa

When will the greater public see Apple for the greedy, two faced company it's becoming?

"oooh it looks nice" is starting to sound like the "Devils got the best tunes" argument more and more each day, as they push for 'open standards' while pushing more and more customers/developers/content providers for every penny they can by restricting what they can and can't do with each successive generation of iProducts and yet because It all looks so nice and is so easy to open your wallet to they let Apple get away with it.

No one else could possibly abuse their position like apple anymore and one day it will cause them to fall from grace just like Microsoft did.

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WTF?

Hey Jobs,

surely nothing to do with your love-in with Murdoch eh?

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Anonymous Coward

Other reasons

You have to consider it from Apple's point of view. If people can get content that is loaded through apps then, not only does Apple loose revenue, but they loose control as well.

With the App Store and Marketplace they have been free to block any content they don't like, e.g. anything that promotes competitors, attacks friendly politicians, or harms important corporate relationships. Having writers circumvent that control is obviously unacceptable and can't be allowed to continue.

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FAIL

except...

the internet!.

or is there somthing about the ipad i didnt read??

every time I start to weaken and seriously consider purchasing one they go and do something like this.

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You forgot the joke icon!

Why exactly is it unacceptable for writers to circumvent Apples control?

Do users buy an i$DEVICE so that they can receive content solely from Apple?

And how does Apple lose revenue? Yes the App comes from the App Store (and from the article it appears its free) but the content comes direct from the authors. So Apple's not using anymore bandwidth than they would a free fart app.

Oh, you mean the authors earning money from their content and Apple isn't getting to take 30%. Poor Apple!

Thing is, if they could offer the App direct from their own site, don't you think the authors would? OK the App Store may carry marketing, but if you already subscribe to a specific paper odds are you'll download their app whether it's in the App store or that papers website.

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FAIL

Cross-border

My biggest worry is that they will shut down Zinio. As a Brit abroad, I use it to read UK magazines at UK prices, rather than the "EU" price, which is typically 3-4 times higher.

Once Apple can control content via store, God knows what they do. In Holland, you can't even buy TV shows or movies from iTunes, iBooks has a handful of titles. I doubt they'll go all out to fill the book store with a worldwide magazine selection.

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Paris Hilton

I don't mind Apple being "tight"

For why? Did I hear you ask? (I'll assume you did. I'll also assume that Little Snitch reported accurately with no false positives.)

But Little Snitch tells me domain go.epson.com denied from application Epsud then went on to piggyback calls from system files, Sophus update and Snapz Pro X.

I am assuming Little Snitch is reporting accurately and am a wee bit worried that a piggyback technology exists and is doing so covertly. I'm not very bright and if I can spot it perhaps others can too? And of those some may do the responsible thing and others might be tempted irresponsibly?

So, yes please Apple: make it tight; very, very tight.

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here comes another reason

for me not to buy iPad.

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serves you right

ooh, the lemmings are complaining now...

Why ever not? What the fxxk else do you expect?

Didn't iPrunes not teach you rabbits anything?

You guys bought these things and told us how beautiful, wondrous and shiny they are [did you get a commission?] So why don't you just suck it up and stop moaning.

So bored. Really, really, really bored with this promo material.

If you can manage independent thought why not ask yourselves what else merited such coverage; Razrs, Blackberries? And what is the common denominator?

It's a fad. it's been over two years.

The thing is dying. Can we move on to something else? Please?

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g e
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Here's a radical idea, then

Don't support Apple products

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Yes

People who have brains don’t.

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