Apple Requiring eBook Apps With External Purchases to Also Offer In App Purchasing

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    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.
    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
  2. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 2, 2007
    The post is coming from inside the house!
    I'm not sure this is much better, really.

    But it's better than radio silence, I suppose.
  3. macrumors member


    May 17, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    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.
  4. macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2010
    I'm so getting tired of the Apple Gestapo.

    How can I love and hate a company so much at the same time?
  5. macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    And this is a new revelation?
  6. macrumors member


    May 17, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    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.
  7. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Well, it is better.

    It sure shows the limitations of the word 'better,' though.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2005
    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.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2006
    But but but it was so much fun losing our collective mind in that other thread.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2010
    Tough call on what to do about prices. At least they're not totally banning these other providers though.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008
    This is what happens while Steve is out. Utter chaos!!!

    Will we get a

    Don't get your panties in a wad


    Sent from my iPhone.

  12. macrumors G4

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    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?
  13. macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    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?
  14. macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    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.

    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.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    May 12, 2003
    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.
  16. macrumors 68040

    Jul 30, 2003
    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?
    And will Apple allow them to charge more for in-app purchases?
  17. macrumors 68000


    Jul 27, 2003
    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).
  18. macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2010
    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.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2008
    Surrey, BC
    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
  20. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    It's got nothing to do with it being easier or safer for the customer, Apple just want that 30%.
  21. macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2008
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
    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!
  22. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    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.

    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.
  23. macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2009
    Der Wald
    Couldn't agree more. :mad:

    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....
  24. macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    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.
  25. macrumors 68040

    Jul 30, 2003
    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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