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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:03 AM   #1
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Apple Rejects 'Sony Reader' From App Store, 'Kindle' Removal Next?






The New York Times reports that Apple has begun rejecting App Store submissions for applications that offer users the ability to purchase content from outside the company's in-app purchasing mechanism. One of the major applications reportedly rejected under this policy change is Sony's Reader application that would have allowed iOS device users to view eBook content downloaded from its Reader Store.
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The company has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.

Apple rejected Sony's iPhone application, which would have let people buy and read e-books bought from the Sony Reader Store.

Apple told Sony that from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple, said Steve Haber, president of Sony's digital reading division.
The move calls into question the fate of such popular eBook applications such as Kindle and Barnes & Noble NOOK for iOS devices. Those applications have so far skirted Apple's rules regarding in-app purchasing by directing users to Safari for purchasing content through a web-based interface, then using the native iOS applications for browsing and viewing the purchased content. But Apple's recent change of heart appears to now ban even that approach.
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The change may signal a shift for Apple. The company has made more money selling hardware than music, e-books or apps. If people could have access to more content from more sources on their iPhones and iPads, the thinking went, then they would buy more devices.
Content providers will be hard pressed to alter their business models to comply with Apple's demands, as they would need to offer their content through in-app purchasing mechanisms from which Apple takes a 30% cut of sales. That slice of revenue would mean that content providers would have to either accept significantly less revenue while selling at the same prices they currently do, or substantially raising prices to compensate for Apple's cut of sales.

Apple has been rumored to be building into iOS support for recurring subscription billing via users' iTunes Store accounts. The feature is expected to play a key role in deployment of News Corp.'s tablet-focused news publication, The Daily, set for introduction later this week.

Deployment of such a feature, as well as others potentially enhancing content delivery to iOS devices, could put Apple in a position where it feels that it offers sufficient options for publishers to get their content onto iOS devices while Apple controls the delivery mechanisms. Those options are apparently giving Apple the ability to flex its muscles to shut down non-Apple methods of distributing content to iOS devices, thus ensuring that Apple controls and receives revenue from all sales.

Article Link: Apple Rejects 'Sony Reader' From App Store, 'Kindle' Removal Next?
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:05 AM   #2
cmaier
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Oh silly silly Apple
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:05 AM   #3
Rodimus Prime
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I can smell Apple getting into legal trouble over this and yet another reason not to trust Apple.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:07 AM   #4
thespazz
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Who else immediately downloaded Kindle from the app store?
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:07 AM   #5
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It's good to be the king!
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:07 AM   #6
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That's curious. I wonder why Apple seems to swing wildly between opening up and limiting app functionality. What's next, you can't buy stuff from amazon.com using the amazon app because the items don't come through Apple? Unless there is some compelling reason for this new limitation, I think it is a bogus money grab.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:07 AM   #7
cmaier
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Originally Posted by Rodimus Prime View Post
I can smell Apple getting into legal trouble over this and yet another reason not to trust Apple.
What legal trouble? As so many fandroids love to point out, Apple has no monopoly to illegally leverage. No law that I know of says a small market participant has to grant other parties equal access to its infrastructure.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:08 AM   #8
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I don't wish to get locked in any further into Apple's money machine.

Was thinking about buying an iPad and iPhone, because I thought there would be some common sense within Apple Corp. There is none.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:09 AM   #9
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"The ability to purchase content from outside the company's in-app purchasing mechanism" has always been against the (very public) policies of the App Store. How is this new?

Also: Is eBay next?! [/fud]
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cmaier View Post
What legal trouble? As so many fandroids love to point out, Apple has no monopoly to illegally leverage. No law that I know of says a small market participant has to grant other parties equal access to its infrastructure.
I don't know but they could be sued. But either way this become yet another reason not to trust Apple. They keep changing the rules and I would call this a rather low move on their part.

Edit just check the kindle store. It kicks you out to the web browser.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:13 AM   #11
BobVB
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Hopefully this isn't true...

Otherwise Apple is saying we need to get some other tablet.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by cmaier View Post
What legal trouble? As so many fandroids love to point out, Apple has no monopoly to illegally leverage. No law that I know of says a small market participant has to grant other parties equal access to its infrastructure.
Hard to see any legal issues stemming from this. But it wouldn't make a lot of business sense. The iBookstore is by far the absolute worst digital bookstore on the market. And that should be a bit of a black eye for Apple, since the iPad was supposed to slay the Kindle (originally).

Still, they've done nothing to change that. No significant announcements and, as far as I can tell, no effort to procure more content since the iPad launched. The iBookstore may well be Apple's biggest failure of the last decade. It is a joke.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:17 AM   #13
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Ha, ha - so what's next, no buying Apps for your Mac outside of the App store?
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:18 AM   #14
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At first I thought this was a competitive move, but after reading it it's pretty obvious this is all about Apple not getting their 30% cut of the app sale - and perhaps competitive at the same time.

Last I checked, more people who own iPhone's/iPads still buy their books through Kindle than Apple's iBooks. By forcing other apps to use their payment methods Apple will either get a cut of their sales (that really high 30%) OR the other app developers will raise their prices to compensate, which I imagine will upset users and guess who's prices remain unchanged: Apple's iBooks.

I don't like the move, as it's ultimately bad for the consumer because that's who loses. You're either going to have to use Apple's inferior iBooks (and who knows what apps are next) or deal with slightly more expensive books in other apps because I doubt many of those other companies will be willing to lose 30% just because Apple says so.

It's moves like this that make it hard to support Apple. There's no denying they make great products, but at the same time, you hate giving your money to a company that you feel sort of strongarms you. Not to mention the stigma that comes with Apple products that you're a deuche, fanboy and/or idiot.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:19 AM   #15
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:22 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by URFloorMatt View Post
The iBookstore is by far the absolute worst digital bookstore on the market. ... The iBookstore may well be Apple's biggest failure of the last decade. It is a joke.
I have been really disappointed. I like the iBooks application, but every time i've looked for a book on the store, it isn't there. I'm amazed they haven't done something about it. If the point of content is to sell more hardware, they either need to offer the content or let someone else do it.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:24 AM   #17
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This REALLY posses me off for some reason.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:24 AM   #18
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The question is, does Sony's app allow you to buy content directly from the app or does it exit you to Safari like the Kindle app does? The former has always been explicitly prohibited by the App Store guidelines. If it's the latter case, and you generalize it, then Apple would be rejecting every app that allows you to access any kind of good or service not purchased using in-app purchasing, which seems like an unlikely move.

I have a feeling this will end up being way less of an issue than people are assuming, just like most of the other seemingly unfair rejections in the past.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:25 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by cmaier View Post
What legal trouble? As so many fandroids love to point out, Apple has no monopoly to illegally leverage. No law that I know of says a small market participant has to grant other parties equal access to its infrastructure.
People often forget that you can get legal troubles not only by having a monopoly but for anticompetitive practices.

Fandroids? Perhaps not, only not fanboys?
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:25 AM   #20
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Amazon is a merchandising company. Sure they sell kindle hardware now but they and Barnes and Noble really don't compete much with apple. Hardware on the other hand is another issue and Sony is a major apple competitor in the in the computer and hardware space and even some software. The legality behind iOS is a strange one. Of course the courts have ruled that users are not in violation of copyright if they install a jailbroken OS on iOS devices ... copyright was a pretty far fetched legal argument. Just how much rights apple has to arbitrarily enforce things is another matter. While there are plenty of closed platforms, Zune, Xbox 360, and PS3, Apple is different in that it selectively enforces its own rules.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:26 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by springerj View Post
I have been really disappointed. I like the iBooks application, but every time i've looked for a book on the store, it isn't there. I'm amazed they haven't done something about it. If the point of content is to sell more hardware, they either need to offer the content or let someone else do it.
They just did...

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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:28 AM   #22
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I don't believe this for a second. Sony is well known for spouting B.S. that is completely unfounded. They probably got rejected for using an IN-APP WEBVIEW control to open their store. If Apple was to make this change, randomly, most of the very top rated app store apps would be banned:

Kindle
Nook
(basically every eReader app, even Stanza for accessing Fictionwise)
Evernote
Netflix
Pandora
Skype
Hulu Plus
FarmVille
FT
NYTimes
Dropbox
box.net
(tons of other services accessible via App Store apps of their own and others)

As well as many other similarly purposed apps. There is no way Apple is banning eBooks as reading (of various forms, such as mail, sms, im, twitter, books, articles, documents, notes, etc.) is pretty much the #1 reason to use iPad and iPhone and we all know iBooks is a pathetic performer compared to Kindle.

The fact is that Sony is a competitor with Apple. Sony is full of talking heads that don't know what their priorities should be and will blindly jab at competition even while trying to ride their coattails. When, if ever, real details finally show up for what really happened I'm sure it will be a well established rule having been broken and Sony using it as a false alarm for crying wolf about Apple's app store.

I mean, really, how many times has this kind of nonsense come up (independent, unverifiable app store approval claims) and later we find out it was just lies? Way too often.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:29 AM   #23
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Removing Kindle would seriously decrease the iPad's usefulness.... My bet is that Apple won't touch it. The Sony thing is weird though... why?

Kindle is probably my 5th most used app after Safari, Mail, Reeder, and of course my own app SlothCam.

EDIT: I agree with people on here that it would make sense to reject Sony's app if it offers downloads/purchases from within the app. Kindle just syncs with what you already bought on Amazon.com so I don't think there's an issue with that. It would be good to know for sure though.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:30 AM   #24
cmaier
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People often forget that you can get legal troubles not only by having a monopoly but for anticompetitive practices.

Fandroids? Perhaps not, only not fanboys?
Um no. You don't have to be nice to your competitors, or even give them equal (or any) access to your hardware or app store, unless you have "market power," which Apple does not.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:31 AM   #25
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Who else immediately downloaded Kindle from the app store?
Yeah another rare app in my collection among with vlc and idos
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