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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:28 PM   #1
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Apple Requiring eBook Apps With External Purchases to Also Offer In App Purchasing






Following up on last night's story revealing that Apple had rejected a Sony Reader iOS application for eBooks, All Things Digital has received an official statement from Apple clarifying the company's position. According to the company, Apple has not changed its terms, but is simply enforcing existing ones that require applications offering content for purchase outside of the application to also offer the content via Apple's in-app purchasing mechanisms.
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Apple's made no change to its App Store Guidlines, it's simply enforcing a rule that's been in them all along: apps that offer purchases elsewhere must support in-app purchases as well. “We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines," company spokesperson Trudy Miller 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."
While short of the originally-feared banning of all external content purchasing methods, the new enforcement does raise additional questions about how such popular eBook applications as Kindle will deal with the requirement. Notably, will in-app purchases be required to be priced at the same level as external purchases, and if so, how will content providers respond to Apple taking its 30% cut of revenue from the in-app purchasing method that is more convenient for consumers than the external purchasing method that sends all revenue to the provider?


Article Link: Apple Now Requiring eBook Applications With External Purchases to Also Offer In App Purchasing
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:29 PM   #2
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I'm not sure this is much better, really.

But it's better than radio silence, I suppose.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:31 PM   #3
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Looks like developers have to play by the rules if they want to have their App in the Apple's App Store.

Will they increase the In-App purchase price (a little) to offset Apple's 30% share, or no? Tough call IMO.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:33 PM   #4
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I'm so getting tired of the Apple Gestapo.

How can I love and hate a company so much at the same time?
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by reezer View Post
Looks like developers have to play by the rules if they want to have their App in the Apple's App Store.
And this is a new revelation?
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:34 PM   #6
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And this is a new revelation?
Apparently, or they wouldn't have recently rejected Sony's App. I think they've been playing loose with some rules and strict with others.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GeekLawyer View Post
I'm not sure this is much better, really.

But it's better than radio silence, I suppose.
Well, it is better.

It sure shows the limitations of the word 'better,' though.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:36 PM   #8
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

I'm usually the first to defend Apple, but this is just stupid.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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But but but it was so much fun losing our collective mind in that other thread.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:36 PM   #10
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Tough call on what to do about prices. At least they're not totally banning these other providers though.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:36 PM   #11
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This is what happens while Steve is out. Utter chaos!!!

Will we get a

Don't get your panties in a wad

-Tim

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email?
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:37 PM   #12
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I don't understand. How is this not changing the developer terms or guidelines? At best, they've suddenly decided to start enforcing a rule they haven't been enforcing before. Surely that constitutes a change in guidelines?
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:37 PM   #13
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I've read Apple's comment 8 times and I still can't figure out what they're actually trying to say.

Are they saying that Kindle/Nook's Safari links must be replaced with an in-app opportunity to give Apple a 30% cut?
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by reezer View Post
Apparently, or they wouldn't have recently rejected Sony's App. I think they've been playing loose with some rules and strict with others.
Developers have also been seeing how close to the line they get. Though without more information it is impossible to say who is in the wrong.

Personally if i buy a app and it has in-app purchase i don't want to have to give a 3rd party my credit card when everything else is on the same bill.


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Originally Posted by forty2j View Post
I've read Apple's comment 8 times and I still can't figure out what they're actually trying to say.

Are they saying that Kindle/Nook's Safari links must be replaced with an in-app opportunity to give Apple a 30% cut?
I think it means that there must be the option to pay with in-app. The developer may not want it but for customers it is easier and safer.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:38 PM   #15
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I can understand 30% for buying an app but in app purchases not hosted on Apple servers like a book download is crap. Make it more like a credit card fee percentage 1.5% for processing the charge. Can still make hundreds of millions from these fees alone plus if Apple is looking in to RFD or NFD or what ever the initials are for the near purchase point of sale things, retailers will not all of a sudden jump from a maybe 4.5% to 30% just for the privilege of THEIR customer paying with an Apple product.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by reezer View Post
Looks like developers have to play by the rules if they want to have their App in the Apple's App Store.
And will this apply to all kind of purchases? Will Skype have to offer the in-app purchasing of Skype credit? Will Dropbox have to offer it? Will third-party apps that access Dropbox, eg, Droptext, have to offer an in-app purchasing of Dropbox storage space?
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Will they increase the In-App purchase price (a little) to offset Apple's 30% share, or no? Tough call IMO.
And will Apple allow them to charge more for in-app purchases?
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:40 PM   #17
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Seems to me that all Amazon et al would have to do to avoid having to have in-app purchases is remove any button/link in the app directly linking to their store in Safari.

Unless they're including apps that allow users to sync/download content purchased elsewhere (and not just have a link in the app to buy elsewhere).
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:42 PM   #18
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I can see both sides of this.

On Apple's side, it sucks that a company can release a free app and use Apple's infrastructure to deliver it, but not pay for any of it.

On the other hand, sucking away 30% from every single purchase just seems like too much.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rayd5365 View Post
I'm so getting tired of the Apple Gestapo.

How can I love and hate a company so much at the same time?
Yeah, cause making rules that benefit your company and shareholders at the expense of your competitors is exactly the same as murdering millions of innocent people. Great analogy
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:43 PM   #20
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The developer may not want it but for customers it is easier and safer.
It's got nothing to do with it being easier or safer for the customer, Apple just want that 30%.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:44 PM   #21
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So users have to be able to purchase items/content/etc through the app directly as well as outside the app. This is what its saying!
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:45 PM   #22
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On Apple's side, it sucks that a company can release a free app and use Apple's infrastructure to deliver it, but not pay for any of it.
But it's NOT using Apple's infrastructure. The Kindle app uses at&t's or your cable company's infrastucture. Apple has nothing to do with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SerenityInt View Post
On the other hand, sucking away 30% from every single purchase just seems like too much.
I agree with this.

I think Apple needs to quickly come up with new pricing. Ok, charge Amazon something, but the fee for hosting an app on Apple's servers needs to be very different from the fee charged to download an e-book hosted somewhere else.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:45 PM   #23
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I'm so getting tired of the Apple Gestapo.

How can I love and hate a company so much at the same time?
Couldn't agree more.

Man I wish Apple was run by engineers like in the pre iGadget days. You can tell the business leeches run everything now.

Success has changed Apple for the worse. If arrogance results in a fall, then AAPL could be headed down....
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:46 PM   #24
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If the prices don't have to be the same, they will just inflate the in-app purchase prices so that apple gets their 30%, amazon gets their x% and the publisher gets their cut too.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 12:46 PM   #25
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But but but it was so much fun losing our collective mind in that other thread.
Yes, and the Kindle app (which flouts this cited rule) and the rules have existed for at least a year. So, if the rule is not new, after a year of tolerating the Kindle app, what is new is that Apple is now enforcing it.
In a lot of legal systems a rule exists that if a law is routinely not enforced, it can be under certain circumstances be considered invalid.
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