Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division, said on Monday that Apple had told his company that from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple.“It’s the opposite of what we wanted to bring to the market,” Mr. Haber said. “We always wanted to bring the content to as many devices as possible, not one device to one store.”
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Enjoy reading your ebooks on your iPhone, iPad and other app devices? Well, Apple thinks they should get a cut of the profits of those ebooks. In a surprising move this week, Apple told Sony that they could not sell their ebooks within their App, the sale had to go thru Apple's system. Meaning that you wouldn't be buying your Kindle book from Amazon, or your Sony ebook from Sony when you decide you want to purchase a particular book while reading it on your iPad or iPhone, it would go through Apple's payment system, and thus Apple getting the 30% standard ebook profit.
Apple said it would still allow access to any ebooks purchased prior to this new demand and any ebooks purchased outside the App, but what of the future? One of the nice things about having a reading App for your iPhone and iPad from one of the other eReader companies, is the ability to read your ebooks on various platforms and to simply press a button to purchase an ebook you want. I decide I want to read my Kindle copy of Pride & Prejudice on my iPhone, it's a simple tap away. But say, I finish that book and want to purchase another book, my tendency would be to purchase it right from the App, but why would Sony, Amazon or B&N want to have you buy new ebooks on your iPhone or iPad, if Apple is the one profiting?! I'm sure they wouldn't. And that means the possibility of dedicated devices again. No more convenience of reading different ebooks platforms on one device, at the risk of losing the next sale. And that seems to be a step backwards to me.
What do you think? It seems to me that there are a lot of Apps that sell things besides ebooks, and that Apple could profit from as well. Is it just that Apple is seeing less profits from iBook sales because the other ebook platforms are more versatile? I can read my Kindle books on my iPhone, iPad, and computer; I can read an iBook on my iPad. Which format would you purchase? And even though you don't own a Sony eReader, with an App, you can purchase a Sony ebook (or any ebook) anyway and read it using an App. Follow the link to read the full article, Apple Moves to Tighten Controlof App Store by Claire Cain Miller and Miguel Helft, from the february 1st New York Times online edition.