back to article Apple's app store policies: What will they provoke?

There hasn’t actually been a new policy statement, but Apple has clearly made a change in the eReader side of its business - one that immediately affects Sony, which has brought the issue to light. It is likely that the change will also affect Amazon (it can’t really affect one and not the other) and Barnes and Noble with its …

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  1. hitmouse
    Jobs Horns

    Censorship

    A number of iPhone apps conveniently present the information and services of a number of web applications which can be run safely in Safari or any other modern browser.

    However, Apple's puritanical and inconsistent policies over the content viewed through such apps changes the nature of those applications. You are not allowed to view the *same user-generated content* through those apps as you may through the browser. This forces some of the creators of such services to impose the same restrictions on Android apps as exist in the iTunes store, so that an iPhone user cannot see adult content generated by the user of another phone.

    The consistent follow-through for Apple would be remove Safari.

    1. RogerThat
      Paris Hilton

      busboy

      Store owners have a right to sell what they want to. Walmart refuses to sell playboy. And they won't let k-mart sell their goods on Walmart shelves. Apple has the same right. There is no restraint of trade here. Next we'll be after Walmart for not selling Chevrolets.

      1. Edwin
        Boffin

        you're missing the point

        There are a couple of important differences here:

        First, Wal-mart does not limit your choices. If you don't like their offering, you can buy elsewhere. Apple users don't have that freedom. If you own an Apple product, you can only shop at Apple.

        Secondly, Wal-mart does not carry magazines on the condition that - if you take a subscription - they get a cut. You are free to make any deal you like with the publishers. Here, Apple is saying that you are not free to buy your subscription directly from the publisher if you want to use paid content on your Apple device.

        Personally, I think the whole business model is reprehensible, but it has obviously paid off very well for Apple, and most consumers don't seem to care much.

        As the article says - that may be changing now.

      2. spodula
        FAIL

        No, its not

        No, its not quite that simple. If you want to buy K-mart stuff, you go into K-mart, if you want to buy Chevrolet, you go to a dealer. Fact is, you can just go and do that.

        If you want to buy a K-mart app to go on your Ipad, and Apple dont want you to buy it, your stuffed.

        There is no way around it other than jailbraking, and apple have been trying their best to stop people doing that.

      3. tryfan

        I suggest you read the TFA

        It's about whether Apple could be considered to be in a monopoly situation. If so, there are laws - the same laws that would apply to Walmart if they were the only place to shop.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Barnes & Noble : Nook eReader

    Did B&N honestly not consider how the name of their device sounds? ... NookieReader : Your entire collection of jazz-mags on one digital device. Awesome.

    Paris, obviously.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    two points

    1/ Will Apple risk the wrath of Amazon by blocking the Kindle Reader... would Amazon in turn either block sales of Apple products through their stores or demand a 30% facilitation fee?

    2/ Imagine if this situation was instead Microsoft demanding a 30% tax on every app that gets sold on Windows. With iPad Apple have just as much of a monopoly in that area as Microsoft still do on the desktop (though as more moves to the web the actual OS becomes less relevant for a lot of users) yet there's hardly any of the outrage that would accompany a similar move by MS. Double standards are just sad to behold

    1. Ammaross Danan
      Jobs Horns

      First, BS

      First, demanding 30% revenue on sales through an Apple-hosted App Store is not like Microsoft charging 30% for the priviledge to sell programs for Windows.

      Blocking Apps from the iP*d is like the PS3 blocking games from its PSNetwork. Perhaps akin to the Kindle blocking your ability to read B&N books on it? No one claims foul that I can't read my Kindle books on my Nook (from B&N). Sure, the iP*d is a device that's supposed to support general applications as opposed to a specialized device, which would put it in a similar arena as an Operating System on a computer, but not quite. The XBox or Playstation can be argued to be the most similar device to an iP*d. Both are heavy protected platforms. Both are designed to run Apps (games, in the case of the consoles) within limits set by the manufacturer. Because Playstation won't allow me to put my free game (one that charges you $1 for every zombie I shoot, for instance) for download on their Playstation Network, doesn't mean they're using their monopoly to oppress me.

      Apple has been marketing their iP*d devices as a "whole" computing platform and consumption device when it isn't. I blame Apple marketing. They'll block newpaper apps because they have The Daily now. They'll block eReaders because they have a iBookstore now. Since they don't really have equivalent (and lucrative) Apps for the other stuff, they don't block them so more people buy their devices because of the variety (or perhaps just simply the quantity) of Apps. If they're purposely THEN building an in-house app and killing off all competing apps, I would consider monopolistic abuse in a manufacturer-controlled market, but it's hard to prove that Apple is purposely allowing apps to build market share and then killing them once Apple has an in-house alternative.

      /Devil Jobs, because it may be hard to prove, but doesn't mean it isn't happening.

      1. Dan 92
        Thumb Down

        No this is much worse

        They want to collect 30% on content bought from OTHER sources because they force you to use their payment method. If this were paypal or a credit card company trying to impose such insane fees there would be a huge uproar. But because it's Apple the idiots just say it's ok.

    2. thecakeis(not)alie

      Love the Apple

      We am the hive mind. Each of us a special, unique flower. Just like everyone else.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, but...

    What do we actually know about this situation? Not a whole lot really.

    It may be that sony's case is significantly different from amazon's. On amazon's setup, you buy books through the browser, does sony handle purchases the same way or is it trying to do in-app purchases?

    1. Neill Mitchell

      The point is...

      Amazon et al will refuse to sell via Apple. They would be mad to. Apple could then ban the Kindle app and ePub reading apps from being installed on their devices. You would then be forced to use Apple's app and Apple's store.

      Personally, I don't think even Apple are mad enough to try it on.

    2. DZ-Jay

      Re; Yes, but...

      We do know some real facts about the situation, and some of them are not what's represented in this story:

      First, the policy is not to prevent booksellers like Amazon from selling e-books through their own channels. The policy states that "in-app" purchases must be done through the iTunes infrastructure. There are valid reasons for this, which I will mention below, but they are irrelevant: Amazon does not sell its books "in-app," they do it through their own site.

      Second, the policy further states that if an application developer sells content through external channels, such content must also be available through the iTunes infrastructure as an "in-app" purchase. This does not limit choice, but expands it: Users must have the choice of purchasing through an external (and perhaps unknown) vendor, or purchasing the same through Apple (presumably trusted, if the user already has an iTunes account).

      Whether Amazon will agree to this, is an valid question, but I can't see why they wouldn't. So far we know nothing regarding price restrictions, so it seems possible that Amazon can offer their direct sales at a lower price than the iTunes versions, and thus have an advantage. To presume that this is an anti-competitive stance rather than a user experience issue (more of this below) is premature and disingenuous.

      To recapitulate, there are two separate policies here:

      1. All "in-app" purchases must be done through Apple; purchases through other vendors can be done outside the app. Furthermore, All externally purchased content must be installed into the common file areas and not downloaded into the application package.

      3. All externally purchased content must also be available as an "in-app" purchase through Apple.

      Regarding the first two, there are some valid reasons why this policy is in place. The most important one is security: In-app purchases performed through external channels cannot be verified by the user to be performed through secured channels. Amazon knew this and did not argue the point, opting instead to have the Kindle re-direct the user to their own e-commerce site, so that the user can confirm that the transaction is done through a secure (HTTPS) transmission.

      Then there's user experience issues: if an app downloads content within itself (by modifying it's package), the user will not be able to share the content between installations of the same application on different devices.

      -dZ.

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        All "dictatorship" start telling you they will make your life more secure

        All that babbling about Apple making your device more secure is pure s**t. And all the naive people believing it are pure naive people. All "dictatorship" start by telling you "don't worry, all the restrictions are here just to ensure you are more secure, believe us...". What's the problem with DMCA then? It is there to make your experience more secure, isn't it? You shouldn't download and use contents you are not sure about its origint, should you? You should not tamper with applications and exploiting bugs, thus making them less secure, should you?

        Apple is simpling exploiting its dominance to ensure a total lock-in, and it also exploits the fact that being a status symbol, people won't ctiticise it to show they didn't make a mistake to buy their status symbol, exactly how dictatorship fans will always close both eyes because they can't admit they stay on the wrong side. Apple is driving a market approach that if successul will bring customers rights one hundred years back. And it risk to be successful just because of people liking to show off their latest toys (for lack of being able to show anything else).

        1. Franklin
          Thumb Down

          *yawn*

          "What's the problem with DMCA then? It is there to make your experience more secure, isn't it?"

          No. The purpose of the DMCA is to keep people who feel that they are entitled to have other folks' work for free from stealing other folks' work.

          Is it Draconian? Yes. Is it abused by huge corporations who cling to broken business models and desperately try to use the force of law to roll back the clock to a time when those business models were actually relevant? You bet. Are the anti-circumvention portions a ridiculous and backassward attempt on the part of clueless and poorly-informed legislators to earn their corporate campaign contributions? No doubt.

          But at the end of the day, the only thing I find more tiresome than the whining of pathetic RIAA and MPAA executives wringing their hands because their failed business model means they won't be able to buy a new yacht this year, is the bleatings of people who feel entitled to have the work of other people without paying for it. It seems that the majority of the folks I've met personally who cry about the DMCA are folks who've never created original content themselves that's actually worth something.

          So no, the DMCA is not about "security." And by trying to draw in that particular universally-loathed Internet canard to bolster your argument, I'm afraid you've rather weakened it.

          I'd like to propose forthwith a new variant on Godwins' law. As the length of any Internet conversation about some company's policies increases, the odds that someone will invoke the DMCA to try to prove how Bad And Wrong that company's policies are approaches 1, even if the policies in question have little or nothing to do with copyright. When that happens, the conversation is over, and the person who compared the policies in question to the DMCA has lost.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Exclusive vs Non-Exclusive

    Here is what we think about Apple - http://www.youtube.com/mobgets - the backlash has already started.

  6. Chris Morrison
    FAIL

    HTML5

    Let me start by saying I am not a web developer so have no real epertise in this field.

    Why do people not develop HTML5 applications rather than using the app store? Particularly for things like ebooks or enews. This gets away from apples walled garden and makes apps cross platform.

    1. Greg J Preece

      DRM?

      Embedding text in a webpage is hardly difficult.

      Converting books to webpages is child's play.

      Making it so that you cannot then copy. save, redistribute, or otherwise dick around with the webpage is very difficult indeed.

    2. RogerThat
      Happy

      busboy

      Selling on the Internet is costly and difficult. Sometimes, no one finds you. Selling through Apple is easy and you instantly get noticed. I spend more selling less when I don't use Apple. I'm sure the same is true for others. Apple presents a great, cheap opportunity with its App Stores.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Android = Open. Market = Not

    You seem to have assumed that because Android is open that the Android Market is in some way. It has been more open than the Apple App store up until now, but that's completely Google's choice, there is nothing binding them to it.

    Google have just released their own API for making in-app purchases, which skims the same 30% off the top as you get when selling your app (just for using their billing API - they don't even provide a content delivery mechanism). It would not be the largest step in the world were Google to say that if any in-app purchases were to be made in future it would have to be using their API (and therefore making them some money) -- after all they don't allow other markets in the market, the same non-compete clause could be extended to digital billing .

    So half of the points in the article seem to based the idea that Google *will* allow what Apple isn't/doesn't. AFAIK Google has yet to come out and make a statement about the future of the 3rd party payment APIs on Android -- perhaps the Reg could ask el Goog.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But...

      You don't *HAVE* to use the Google Market. In fact, non-Google branded Android handsets don't even have them, and yet people get along just fine and dandy!

      On the iPhone, you have to jailbreak in order to have alternative markets. Big difference.

    2. Graham 15
      Jobs Horns

      Yes, but

      Not sure what you mean by "they don't allow other markets in the market" - Google doesn't have a total stranglehold on Android apps in the same way that Apple does with its app store. Yes, the android marketplace is the dominant source of apps at least at the moment, but (and correct me if I'm wrong) on android people can install 3rd party apps - and will do, if Google goes all Apple on them and starts turning down apps people want.

      1. thecakeis(not)alie

        Indeed.

        I have three different markets on my Desire. In fact, I downloaded the Market app for the non-Google-markets from Google Market. Apple would never allow such a thing.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Android = Open. Market = Not

      On my phone, I have the Google Market with its 100s of thousands of apps, and the Samsung App Store with 9 apps to choose from. I can also obtain apps from elsewhere and transfer them to my phone on the SD card. As Android is Free and Open Source, anyone can use it and modify it as they wish.

  8. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Pint

    Hmmm....

    I think you nailed it in the middle of the article. Apple used to be able to get away with this sort of thing, they were a minor thorn in a lot of other's sides, but now they are much bigger and they think they can carry on as they once did. MS had a similar thing, once Win95/98 came out and they rocketed off as the home desktop of choice, they started getting it in the neck from all sides.

    Interesting times coming for Mr Jobs.

  9. James Hughes 1

    Let me get this straight

    To use the iPad as a ebook reader, you need to download an app from the likes of Amazon. Fine. But to then get books you need to download them via either the Apple iBookstores, or in App from Amazon. Ok.

    But are you saying that Apple then get a 30% cut of the second method? When you want to buy something from Amazon, using an Amazon app which downloads direct from Amazon, over your own wireless or 3G link on to your own device, some of the cost goes to Apple? What the hell does it have to do with them? It's not their app, their product or their tablet.

    Screw that. I'll stick with my Kindle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No

      Nope. Unless you have a jailbroken iPhone, the Amazon app doesn't come direct from Amazon, it comes from the App Store through Apple!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or alternatively

      Get the books elsewhere as epubs, and copy them onto the iPad using Calibre or similar, and read them using something like ibook or stanza.

      That option was still available last I checked (about a week ago)...

      1. Michael C

        more to the point

        it is STILL an option, even under these "enforced" rules. You can;t have an in-app process to buy a book direct from Amazon, but you can have a link in the app that opens a web site with which to buy the book, and it can still download into the device (into shared space, not inside the app container). This is how it is done today. All Apple is doing is saying "if you offer that, you ALSO have to offer in-app purchases through the iOS app store", at least for any content that actually is available in both places. If the content is not offered by apple, no itunes link is required.

        Prevailing logic moves that this is in fact not a money grab, but is a protection for iOS users who either do not have a credit/debit card, who buy using iTunes gift cards, and for those who provide iTunes "allowances" for their kids. If Amazon, Sony, BnK, etc all used exclusively their own stores, customers who did not have Visa/etc accessibility would not be able to buy content, except through iBooks. Applying to books alone, this doesn't sound like a huge burden, but when applied to periodicals, game levels, and more, content that IS available in both places, it could be an issue.

        1. nsld
          Paris Hilton

          One mans prevailing logic is another mans steaming heap

          So to allow people with no visa/mastercard/cardofchoice for e commerce all vendors must pay the iTax of 30% to allow people to use Apples gift cards!

          Plus Apple has already moved to block access to content paid for elsewhere with the Belgian newspapers which appeared to be a test to dip the toe in the water of forcing content payment, delivery and iAd addition exclusively through iTunes.

          If Apple wanted to serve its Ios customers it would let them access content via apps thats been paid for elsewhere becuase that gives them choice.

          What you have highlighted at the end of your comment is the very lucrative market outside iTunes that Apple would like to get a 1/3rd of for all its devices.

          Two key reasons I dont buy Apple products, they tell me whats good for me to install , and they tell me where to shop, what next ? telling us when to eat, sleep and take a dump?

          I have to ask Michael, do you work for Apple or one of its PR firms?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          @Michael C

          Nice try fanboi - but no cigar.

          OK, not a ideal analogy, but Imagine if I bought a phone from Tesco and Tesco insisted any app I use to purchase groceries MUST also link to the Tesco product (just to protect those people who use Tesco vouchers), and that Tesco get 30% of the sales for those that aren't linked. This would OK would it? This is not a money grab is it? Really?

          Even you, as an obvious 'fruit' fan, must admit that trying to support apples decisions is getting difficult - just give in to the facts, that apple, because of stupid protectionist rules, are now, quite rightly, the most hated tech. company in the world - and most pro-apple commentards are simply in denial - which is sad really.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes that is it - 30% to Apple, or get lost.

      I'm pretty sure that if Apple could, they would license iPhone to you and not sell it.

      And yes that is what they are saying - there is no way for a company to have a product that competes with Apple without a) Paying Apple 30% fee on all app sales and b) Paying Apple a 30% fee on all content sales.

  10. Alan Denman

    Might not happen from one of the worlds biggest bullies.

    A bully will always pick on the weak. And Sony being new in this area is weaker than Amazon.

    For this reason it is possible they will leave Amazon alone.

    They might be the greedy but this bully is clever enough to only do 'their evil' where it is safe.

  11. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Best news all day...

    So basically if Apple gets bigger, they can be hit with anti-trust suits for their uncompetitive behaviour, but if they shrink, then they lose their high position in the market?

    It's all win win then =]

    1. Michael C
      Stop

      no.

      1, they're not requiring you to buy from them, they're only requiring the OPTION to alternatively buy direct, and only as it applies to content apple already carries.

      2, being anti-competitive is not illegal, only using market monopoly position in such a way as to stifle competition is illegal. The USA does not recognize the iOS store as a monopoly, it is but one store is the much bigger market of ALL apps on all platforms, and they further consider real books, CDs, etc, part of that competitive landscape. The only way apple might get into trouble is if they said "IF you sell it here, you can not sell it anywhere else, period, and then still only if they became 80+% of the market in total.

      1. thecakeis(not)alie

        Being anti-competitive is not illegal...

        ...but in any right-thinking world it should be. Corporations should be forced to sink or swim on innovation, quality, price and service. Not thier ability to lock out competitors. Cue the corporatist apologists..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        @ Michael C - Are you for real?

        Have you actually:

        a) Understood the issue

        b) Read your fanboi tripe back to yourself.

        Is it all about choice or not? If so, then I choose not to give 30% of my sale to a company that has NOTHING to do with the item I am purchasing, using an app that has NOTHING to do with them either. They manufacture the device and OS - that's it - to claim that forcing the vendor to add a link to allow the OS vendor to get 30% is somehow 'good for choice' is, to be honest - utter bollox.

        If you bought your iPhone from e-bay then maybe e-bay should get 30% of all the revenue for items you bought using said iPhone - why not...they have as much claim as Apple do to my Amazon purchases using my iPhone - namely F**K ALL.

  12. DrXym Silver badge

    I don't see why they can't be brought up

    I think Apple are clearly abusing their position to change the rules and put their competition at a disadvantage.

    It's not like music where they could fairly claim they were the first on the scene. For books in particular, there were already ereaders on the iPhone before any Apple bookstore turned up. Now they're changing the rules to force those ereaders to jump through impossible hoops or turn over a significant chunk of profit for purchased content. It's classic leveraging and it shouldn't matter if they have 10% of the phone market or 90%. Within the iPhone market is what matters and there they are behaving like an abusive monopoly.

    This isn't the only place they're leveraging. Look at the recent app store on the Mac. It's installed by default when you update OS X which clearly disadvantages other app stores such as Steam which must be manually installed by the user.

    1. Michael C

      2 reasons no.

      1) the market is not measured by media available on a single platform, it is measured by the total market size, which includes all methods with which to acquire that media, including physical copies. It is not illegal to exert anti-competitive practices unless it actually prevents business. Sony can just as easily sell elsewhere, and the government is OK since consumers can still buy it in that other place.

      2) much more importantly, apple is not requiring sony to move books exclusively through their store, they';re just requiring they ALSO have the OPTION of moving books they also carry through their store.

      This is being misconstrued as a money grab, but in reality, its much more likely a protection system for all their users with iOS devices who do not have credit cards, and/or for the kids getting iTunes allowances and/or gift cards to still be capable of buying content apple sells (the other models require a credit card, and if many popular apps move in that direction, a significant customer base is disadvantaged).

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Come off it

        Of course it's a money grab and of course it's anticompetitive. Apple have a bookstore and users are not required to jump through hoops to use it. The only reason they put barriers for competing apps is to seriously disadvantage them or drive them out of the market altogether.

        As for it being a "protection system", well that's a load of crap. If kids don't have credit cards then they can't use these apps. So what? If anything that puts Apple at an advantage because they *will* be able to use the Apple bookstore.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Gotcha!

        Yo do work for apple don't you - only the most delude fanboy or apple employee would come out with this. You seriously don't understand do you.

        REG: Can we have a deluded fanboy icon please. Although, to be honest, 'deluded fanboy' is a tautology.

    2. RogerThat
      Black Helicopters

      busboy

      If you start a lemonade stand, do I have the right to come by and demand that you sell my lemonade, too. If you refuse, aren't you limiting your customers' right to choice? Give me a break. This reasoning is not reasonable.

      1. spodula
        Troll

        The only problem is.

        If you prevent people selling lemonade by any other method, then yes, your limiting your customers' right to choice. Your analogy falls down because anyone can setup their own lemonade stand.

        This is not an option on the Ipad, in fact, Apple SPECIFICALLY PROHIBIT anyone else having a lemonade stand, which is the equivelent of your lemonade seller sending around the heavy mob if someone else tries to sell on their patch.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        @RogerThat

        Now imagine you're selling lemonade first. Then some kid sets up his own lemonade stand nearby and doesn't like your competition. So he calls his dad who is the sheriff who tells you can only sell lemonade if you give up a cut of your money or only if someone buys the lemonade in advance by telephone. He also applies the same rules to other kids with lemon stands except his own. You may as well just give up.

        That's what it amounts to. It is absolutely anti-competitive in every respect.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    The solution...

    ...is to keep buying books - real ones, made of paper.

    No DRM, no platform issues (apart from bookshelves). All you need is a mark-one eyeball and some photons to bounce off the surface. Works for centuries without a single recharge.

    I'd add a 'joke' icon, except this isn't one. The whole ebook game is scam to rent people things they think they are buying. Avoid.

  14. FARfetched
    Alert

    Self-contradiction

    First: «Apple eventually failed to keep Adobe Flash from its devices»

    Then: «we would argue … that Apple will continue to hold this type of dominance for some time to come, and will remain the comfortable market leader for the next five years.»

    Apple failed to keep Flash off? iOS still doesn't have Flash, thank God, while you yourself say Apple will be out front for 5 years anyway. Your article contradicts itself.

    The only thing keeping Flash off Apple devices is Adobe. As long as Adobe continues to foist a sub-par port on OSX, making fans spin up even on modern dual-core MacBooks, Apple will continue to keep Flash off iOS for the sake of battery life and overheating protection.

    To the point of the article: the Kindle app switches to Safari to get to the store on Amazon, thus following Apple's guidelines to the letter. Purchases aren't being done in-*app* here, a loophole that may or may not be closed in the near future. If you buy a Kindle book using your computer (or your Kindle, or by starting Safari yourself on iOS), you can send it to the Kindle app without Apple taking a cut — and Apple can't do a thing about it unless they want to selectively block downloads, and I don't think that's likely.

    The Kindle proper is a better ebook reader anyway. I can read in peace, without everyone else in the house wanting to borrow it.

  15. thesykes

    Seems to me...

    that app developers should take note of this situation, and, instead of handing over 30% of their income to Apple, for doing nothing, should follow Amazon and just direct users through to an online store.

    Of course, Apple will then ban that.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The freshly arrived world of tablet computers

    No. Tablets have been around for ages. What you mean is, its only recently Apple have fooled the masses into thinking they are cool, and increased the market.

  17. Volker Hett

    AppStores are a god sent for small companies

    You don't have to have the bandwidth and CC Payment and stuff.

    But this is totally different for a company which has all this in place.

    If I'd use an eBay Store or Amazon to sell my stuff, I'd have to share my revenue with them, which would be fine compared to the cost I'd have for setting up my own store.

    Amazon, eBay, Sony et.al. do have all that in place and probably much cheaper than I could get it, certainly cheaper than 30%.

    On the other hand, can you buy Sony content from Amazon on a B&N Nook?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Seems to me...

      That you don't understand the basic workings of commerce.

      First off, the "doing nothing" bollocks; credit card processing, advertising, hosting and distribution is not "doing nothing"-it how all shops work, and believe you me, Tesco makes more from a box of PG Tips than Unilever do for instance (it's more than 30% too!). So your 'radical' solution is to bypass the app store by selling your apps online; how do you propose the apps are installed then you boob! This is why people jailbreak their iDevices! The only /legitimate/ way, outside of enterprise deployment, to install apps is via the Appstore. Do keep up.

    2. Michael C

      no

      Apple is not banning anything, or insisting purchases MUST go through them. They're only insisting that IF there is a 3rd party system for getting content that for content which is available in both places, they include BOTH methods to buy it. This is most likely to ensure that the "allowance" system, iTunes gift cards, and for that matter anyone who doeas not own a credit card, always has an alternative method for buying digital content apple otherwise carries. Appe explicitly said, "IF IT INCLUDES a 3rd party system..." they did not say, "soory, have to buy through us" as everyone is reading this.

      As for in-app vs web based, it must be in a browser, not in-app, as customers don't get to validate SSL and other security measures if they can't see the nature of the transaction. This is a security restriction, not a money grab.

    3. Cameron Colley

      They're not always a con.

      I have, amongst others, a PDF copy of "The Art Of Assembler" and .txt files of a good percentage of the works of Sir ArthuR Conan Doyle. They cost me nothing.

      I am told it's possible to back up Amazon ebooks too, using third-party software. If that's the case the only issue with ebooks is that, over here, uk.gov demand 20% because they're more luxurious than a real book.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        Re: They're not always a con

        "I have, amongst others, a PDF copy of "The Art Of Assembler" and .txt files of a good percentage of the works of Sir ArthuR Conan Doyle. They cost me nothing."

        Well I wouldn't want to pay much more than that for an ebook.

        " the only issue with ebooks is that, over here, uk.gov demand 20% because they're more luxurious than a real book."

        And they say the tax man doesn't have a sense of humour!

        Seriously though, a physical book is much more than the words contained therein. They can be inspirational things of beauty, to be treasured, collected, and passed on down the generations. The book publishing industry would do well to remember that before they follow the fate of the music labels. There's no such thing as a collectable MP3 file.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          They're not even books

          " the only issue with ebooks is that, over here, uk.gov demand 20% because they're more luxurious than a real book."

          You don't buy ebooks you buy a licence for them, like computer software. The problem is not the tax man but the terms of "ownership". i.e. you don't own an ebook.

          That wouldn't be so bad if the prices were commensurate with that fact but they're not. In many cases the paper copies are cheaper. I suggest a morally (but not legally) fair workaround would be to buy the paper book and download an unencumbered digital copy.

    4. Ammaross Danan
      Coat

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      "The only thing keeping Flash off Apple devices is Adobe"

      Flash has ActionScript. It interprets a scripted language, and thus is banned from the App Store due to that reason. Jobs is just diminishing the importance by saying how buggy and bloated Adobe Flash products are (which is true). It's a PR smear campaign trying to convince people they are better off not viewing YouTube or other Flash media.

      "you can send it to the Kindle app without Apple taking a cut — and Apple can't do a thing about it unless they want to selectively block downloads, and I don't think that's likely."

      No, but they could just block the App as a whole until the developer puts code in that pays Apple 30% when a book is "allowed" to be viewed from iOS. If that "feature" isn't there, they can block it. Just look at Sony. Amazon is bigger, so likely not one to piss off just yet.

      1. Franklin
        FAIL

        A title is required

        "It's a PR smear campaign trying to convince people they are better off not viewing YouTube or other Flash media."

        *blink*

        Um...you do realize that you can, in fact, watch YouTube on iPhones, right?

        And they say Steve Jobs has a reality distortion field...

    5. byrresheim
      Megaphone

      Right you are

      and is it not ironic that amazon accidentally deleted Orwell from all kindles? Or did some brave soul want to send us all a warning?

  18. David Lucke

    Jumping the gun?

    The more I hear about this, the more convinced I am that a mountain is being made out of a molehill here. All we've had is some vague statements from Sony that the eReader has been refused because of inApp purchasing issues. That's IT. All the rest is supposition, speculation, inference and good old-fashioned making shit up.

    Apple requires that it gets 30% of in-App purchases. Just like the apps themselves, this is its charge for providing a service, namely the interface and connectivity to make it work seamlessly and easily, the server storage for the thing being purchased, and the payment processing, none of which are easy or cheap to do. One might quibble over the percentage, but that they are providing a service that it is fair to charge for doesn't seem to be in doubt (though I'm sure many will disagree...)

    Amazon has chosen not to go this route, and instead provides a link to their website where people can purchase their ebooks from instead. That means that they do their own storage, their own payment processing, and their own transport mechanisms, off their own back, and the prices for all that are figured into the cost of the ebook. This makes sense for them, because they have to do most that anyway for their non-iphone customers.

    The key thing here is that nothing that Amazon is doing is costing Apple a penny, and so Apple has no reason to kick up a fuss. For that matter, all the other ebook readers (there's loads of them out there people, iBooks and Kindle are the johnny-come-latelys) do much the same thing. Apple has never had a problem with them either. Sony could equally well have done it too, but they tried to use Apple's service instead, without paying for it, and got told where to get off. Probably they will now go and use Amazon's method too.

    NO ONE connected with this has so much as whispered that Apple is going to clamp down on anyone else, and start banning other means of getting ebooks onto their hardware. All they've said is if you want to use the inApp purchasing framework, you gotta pay the fee. That's it. Everything else has been knee-jerk Apple bashing. There's plenty of things that they've actually done to bash them for, without having to invent stuff because its a slow news day.

  19. Alan Denman

    30% Flash

    This is 99% of the reason why Flash is not on otherwise that 30% could be gone in a Flash.

    Lucky who?

  20. David Lucke

    Jumping the gun again

    The more I hear about this, the more convinced I am that a mountain is being made out of a molehill here. All we've had is some vague statements from Sony that the eReader has been refused because of inApp purchasing issues. That's IT. All the rest is supposition, speculation, inference and good old-fashioned making shit up.

    Apple requires that it gets 30% of in-App purchases. Just like the apps themselves, this is its charge for providing a service, namely the interface and connectivity to make it work seamlessly and easily, the server storage for the thing being purchased, and the payment processing, none of which are easy or cheap to do. One might quibble over the percentage, but that they are providing a service that it is fair to charge for doesn't seem to be in doubt (though I'm sure many will disagree...)

    Amazon has chosen not to go this route, and instead provides a link to their website where people can purchase their ebooks from instead. That means that they do their own storage, their own payment processing, and their own transport mechanisms, off their own back, and the prices for all that are figured into the cost of the ebook. This makes sense for them, because they have to do most that anyway for their non-iphone customers.

    The key thing here is that nothing that Amazon is doing is costing Apple a penny, and so Apple has no reason to kick up a fuss. For that matter, all the other ebook readers (there's loads of them out there people, iBooks and Kindle are the johnny-come-latelys) do much the same thing. Apple has never had a problem with them either. Sony could equally well have done it too, but they tried to use Apple's service instead, without paying for it, and got told where to get off. Probably they will now go and use Amazon's method too.

    NO ONE connected with this has so much as whispered that Apple is going to clamp down on anyone else, and start banning other means of getting ebooks onto their hardware. All they've said is if you want to use the inApp purchasing framework, you gotta pay the fee. That's it. Everything else has been knee-jerk Apple bashing. There's plenty of things that they've actually done to bash them for, without having to invent stuff because its a slow news day.

    1. BingBong

      Too right .. teacup meet storm

      To quote AllThingsDigital ...

      "-- “We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,” [Apple] spokesperson Trudy Muller told me. “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.”

      In other words: You don’t have to buy books, or music, or other media that you consume on iOS apps from Apple. But developers must offer you the option to buy that stuff through Apple and its iTunes-backed system. --"

      So basically its a good thing for consumers as it gives more choice!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Gladiator names: Storm, Teacup ...

        "... We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines ..."

        “... We are now requiring ..."

        If they haven't changed the guidelines why the need to emphasize what they're /now/ requiring? Surely this would be the same as what they /were/ requiring?

      2. nsld

        Your kidding

        It doesnt give the consumer more choice, it forces the content provider to run purchases through I tunes and pay 30% of any of that transaction to Apple.

        If the consumer wants the content they can buy it via the website, they dont need the additional "choice" of the iTunes store.

        What needs to happen is the content providers need to comply but charge 100% more for purchases through iTunes and within the App explain that the same content is available for less outside the iTunes store and then give the customer the "choice" you speak of.

        That way the content provider doesnt lose out, Apple gets its pound of flesh for anyone who does buy in App and everyone is happy.

        If its not already in the T's and C's I bet you will see a new rule that prices must be the same in and out of app fairly soon.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sorry....

      Sony, as was clear from it's website where it showed pictures of it's app, is doing what Kindle is doing. Apple banned that. Nothing is supposed here. Apple has also sent a missive to other publishers suggesting the same model.

      Apple's IAP is not needed in these situations, and Apple is hoping that the internal purchasing will be the route taken by most consumers. It has not said whether it will even allow a link to the external website anymore.

      Taking that 30% off gross means that content providers need to have a 43% margin. Considering most will have their own content delivery ( and purchasing) mechanism this is absolute larceny. it renders most business models useless.

  21. Phil Hare 2

    Er

    --"First off, the "doing nothing" bollocks; credit card processing, advertising, hosting and distribution is not "doing nothing""

    True. And it proves such a burdensome task for Apple that they're now the worlds second largest company in terms of market value.

    --"So your 'radical' solution is to bypass the app store by selling your apps online; how do you propose the apps are installed then you boob!"

    I remember a system like that. Back then Apps were called "software", and you could write it and sell it to work with various operating platform without paying the vendor for such platforms a single damn penny.

    How times have moved on.

  22. ptmmac

    this article is flat out wrong

    see Michael C's comment. Apple does not require you to use their system for sales, but it must be possible to use apple's system to pay for items with their gift cards or store credits.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why?

      WTF have my purchases got to do with Apple?

      Why MUST it be possible to use apple to pay for stuff? It is this 'MUST' that is the main issue.

  23. Neil Alexander
    Jobs Horns

    I feel bad for these developers.

    They spend money, time and resources on writing an application for iPhone/iPad, only to find that it was actually a complete waste because Apple have a chip on their shoulders.

    Even more it is a shame because they could have spent the same money, time and resources writing an application for other platforms and already be making money from their creation by now without facing any of this dystopian nonsense.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Re: I feel bad for these developers

      "They spend money, time and resources on writing an application for iPhone/iPad, only to find that it was actually a complete waste because Apple have a chip on their shoulders."

      Back in the real-world, you don't normally build a house, and then apply for planning permission - you get permission first to avoid the risk of refusal.

      Or if you prefer another analogy, countries that offer an unreliable rule-of-law, like Russia or Zimbabwe, find it relatively difficult to persuade companies to invest in them. The risk of their assets being confiscated is too great.

      Apple will eventually realise that developers of apps need the same respect, and provide an up-front permission system and transparency of adjudication. If they don't, deveopers will work elsewhere, and the Apple platform will die out and Apple will return once again to being a niche player.

      And so, if competition from Android helps Apple sit up and stop acting like a dictatorship and more like a civilised country, it will be to the benefit of everyone involved.

  24. Mike Flugennock

    jeezus, watta pissfight

    Makes me even gladder that I've stuck with good old paper books.

    1. Volker Hett

      Paper books have a some benefits

      a) you can lend them to someone

      b) work without batteries even in direct sunlight

      c) even cheap paperbacks have a couple decades storage lifetime in plain bookshelfs

      d) easy access without the need to keep ancient storage devices and software

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    For Subscriptions on Apple, the Solution is Simple

    To me, what Apple is doing, is just plain wrong. A user can have a reasonable expectation of being able to run applications of their choosing, the taking away of Aps that were out and in production is a bad thing. Consumers can of course go buy something else, but in iPads, there's not much else at the moment (give it a couple of months), so Apple is abusing it's monopolistic position.

    That said, the solution for magazine subscriptions is actually dirt simple. Sell the subscription for a year (or two) as an application. Say TimeMagazine2011. Then each week/month, update the application with the new magazine. Apple would have to either outlaw or start charging for application updates. Apple might just think about doing that, but chances are unlikely it would go that far.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't upgrade to the new version

    The simple solution if Apple do try to enforce this with things like the Kindle app, just don't upgrade from the old app, it is not like ebooks are something that would tend to suffer from using an old app after all.

  27. gman5541
    FAIL

    Much to do about nothing

    "It is likely that the change will also affect Amazon (it can’t really affect one and not the other) and Barnes and Noble with its Nook eReader application, and it is either going to put Apple into the middle of an anti-trust suit or lose huge market share to Google’s Android."

    No, it won't. Apple licensed Amazon's One Click technology in 2000. That technology is used throughout the iTunes and App Stores. Thus, for that reason, Amazon will get a "pass"

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple is skimming,

    The Apple apologists are out in force. Let me correct some points ( I say this as an iOS dev).

    1) Apple's IAP does not host content, nor distribute it, nor anything else. The very fact that Amazon can go outside the app to buy and then download ( via it's servers) proves that point. Apple has no reason to get involved here except greed.

    2) IAP itself is not fit for purpose. Devs have to input all their data again to iTunes connect, but it is limited to 3,000 product IDs. Which means you have to use product Ids like com.mycompany.cheapbook rather than the name. Furthermore it uses it's own tiered pricing system which is useless unless you want the exact same pricing model.

    3) IF apple wants a seamless UI experience it can use KeyChain to keep all the passwords.

    4) The demand to have IAP in the app has not been fully explained by Apple The question is will Apple allow a UI to have two buttons with different prices - one called Buy Online, the other Buy Internally. If so - which is unlikely - no big deal because people will go for the cheaper option. That makes no sense to APple so they will insist that the IAP has a button to buy internally only, and you find your own way to the vendor's website. That kills the product, or taxes the consumer.

    5) Apple are changing the rules behind dev's back ( not just Sony) after said devs have spent money on a product. This, for instance, is a new re-interpretation of a rule. They can do that again. Making developing for the App Store a precarious process.

  29. Tringle

    Why does anyone 'buy' ebooks anyway?

    Whilst I agree that Apple appear to be taking the micky here, the reason I don't have an idiotPad or a Kindle is that you can't actually BUY anything for them. You get a very limited licence that seriously restricts what you can or cannot do with the content you have 'bought'.

    When these guys decide to actually pass ownership of content to me then I might reconsider. But as it is the batteries in my paper books seem to last for decades . .

    1. gunnerjoe

      Re:

      Why: Reading a book on a Kindle is easier on the eyes than reading the book.

      I can carry a ton of books and some music and photos, in my hand.

      I can search for and purchase instantly.

      That's About It!

      Thanks,

      Joe

  30. gunnerjoe

    iPad Apps

    Hi All,

    Is there a way to put apps on iPad that don't come from App Store?

    Joe

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