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No change in App Store guidelines, Apple insists

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 No major app makers have so far hinted at fresh plans to add support for in-app book purchases.

by MacNN Staff



  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This should be fun.

    If this marks the end of Kindle and other apps that use the same model, this also marks the end of my Apple patronage. I doubt Amazon will bend over to let Apple take 30% considering how small profits likely are on ebooks.

    And I'm sure I'm gonna hear from a bunch of apologists with the, "it's their ball, they can play with it how they want" argument. Me? I don't think they're playing with it, they're just dropping it.

  1. Tharsman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One big question before FUD kicks in:

    Is the developer forced to offer the same pricing in the in-app sale as in the web sale?

    If yes, activate FUD.

    If not, then just increase the price of the in-app sale by 43% to cover Apple's fees and allow the user the choice to get it cheaper in the web.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    more to the point

    Basically, it's the same policy, they're just enforcing it. See, now that all these users have been sucked into the Apple iOS world of apps and devices, and they got their huge marketshare, Apple apparently now feels the time is right to enforce some of the lesser known bits of the TOS. The expectation is that the app makers, now with all these users on board using their apps, will need to knuckle under and include the capability, so Apple can now gain even more money.

    And it only seems fair. I think, next up, Apple should start charging ad agencies a 30% commission for every campaign that is developed on Macs. Its the same thing, right?

    Oh, and does this mean that any OS X apps bought in the app store have the same requirements/rules?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Am I the only one seeing this and going "Hey, isn't that something Microsoft would do?"

    And shouldn't that be on some board at Apple's HQ? Like the "Don't be evil" google mantra. "Ask yourself, would Microsoft do this? If yes, then it's a stupid idea."

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