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Bryan M. Wolfe
| January 27, 2011
Apple's Rules For E-Reader Apps Could Be Bad News [Updated]
Purchasing e-books while using Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes & Noble’s Nook app is very easy. Each takes readers outside the app and to the respective company’s website. Here orders are placed, and those e-books are then made available in the e-reader app. Missing in this process is the use of Apple’s own in-app purchase system. Hence, the company doesn’t get its 30 percent take. This could soon change. Apple has begun rejecting new apps that use the subscription loophole mentioned above since it violates the App Store Review Guidelines, which state:
- 11.2 Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected
For existing apps already on the App Store, we are providing a grace period to bring your app into compliance with this guideline. To ensure your app remains on the App Store, please submit an update that uses the In App Purchase API for purchasing content, by June 30, 2011.But, here is the rub: Among its many uses, the iPad is an excellent e-book reader and offers readers a choice of e-book formats. This is something that no other device on the market can offer. Will Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other e-book providers be willing to give up 30 percent to Apple? Doubtful. Will Apple let them leave the App Store and let one of the iPad’s strongest selling points go away? Who knows what will ultimately happen between Apple and the e-reader companies? Hopefully, both sides will work together to resolve this issue before June. If not, consumers will likely lose. [Updated to include link to MondayNote - BW]