updated 02:00 pm EST, Tue February 1, 2011
Company demands in-app purchase options
The rejection of the Sony Reader app does not represent a change in App Store rules, an Apple spokeswoman claims. A New York Times report suggested that the ban represents a "further tightening" of Apple's control of the App Store, blocking access to purchases made outside of the store's ecosystem. "We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines," insists Apple's Trudy Miller.
"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," she nevertheless reveals. Apple takes a 30 percent cut from all transactions at the App Store, including in-app purchases. It was previously possible to direct customers to outside web stores, meaning that the stipulation does in fact represent a change.
The policy could potentially have a major impact on companies like Amazon and Kobo, which offer e-book readers at the App Store that are mostly dependent on files bought at outside storefronts. The Amazon Kindle app, for instance, syncs books which can be bought at Amazon.com. No major app makers have so far hinted at fresh plans to add support for in-app book purchases.