re: Does SONY get a 30% cut because you saw it on your TV?
No, but if you want to sell your product in a Sony store, you'd be hard pressed to pay as little as 30% commission to the retailer.
You don't have to use the app store to make things available on an iphone - safari is always there and you pick up an extra 30%
If you don't like it, deprive Apple users of your product and push them towards Android.
Doesn't Apple do more than financial transactions for this? More like Akamai than Visa I think. Doesn't it also vet and host content as well as distribute it? Apple has put quite a bit of effort into the platform. No-one else been able to be quite so successful from a standing start. There might be lots of lock-in on the platform, but this isn't MS leveraging a historical monopoly based on years of dirty tricks, this is a company making a success of a new sector. I would expect some supernormal profits to begin with. The profits will erode over time.
I'd be interested to know retailer's cut on magazines like vogue. Newspapers may not be able to take a 30% cut to retailers, but newspapers make their money from advertising, not the ticket price, which typically covers distribution costs. The question becomes whether online sales cannibalise paper sales. Distribution costs are unlikely to change (moving a lorry from A to B) but if fewer copies are sold per location, the distribution cost per hard-copy paper sold rises.
I'd also be curious to know if this is a real problem, or if it is just the normal proceedings of big businesses bickering amongst themselves trying reduce their costs and finding that they can't outsource this one to India.
It's an interesting case. There aren't too many companies which could pull off something like the ipad. Even when it was launched there were many people who thought it would be a failure. Sony (or in the past, Nokia) Nintendo etc would be the obvious rival to Apple, but they really don't do the more complicated UI's that make Apple's mobile computing successful.
No-one else does the vertical integration that Apple does. Perhaps Steam would be interested in extending to mobile devices and moving into other media areas than games. They have a content delivery network, a billing system and a windows and mac client. I wonder if someone could add a phone to go with that?