All Things D:
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.”
Let me set the stage for you, friend. Sony had just submitted their Reader app to the App Store. It's just like the Kindle app from Amazon, in that there is no in-app purchasing. You get moved to Mobile Safari to buy the book on Amazon.com, and then you head right back into the app to download the book. Barnes & Noble's app works similarly. The problem is Sony's Reader app was rejected. Apple has had enough of this workaround and will no longer let these freeloaders make sales in their apps without a cut of the monies.
Apple is now requiring apps to provide an in-app purchase for every item that is sold out of the app. If I were Amazon, I'd be sweating it big time. If rumors of a March 31st deadline are true, that means Amazon has until then to create an in-app purchasing system for every book they plan to offer online for their Kindle system. Ouch!
Not only that, but this would also mean that every book sold inside of their apps would give a 30% cut to Apple for your troubles. Every in-app purchase follows the 70/30 ruling for sales, just like apps themselves. Oof!
What happens if Amazon balks at the mere idea of such a loss in revenue, would they just leave the App Store altogether? That would be a huge hit on revenue. There are 15 million iPads in circulation, you know, and countless iPhones and iPod touches. We at Trigon would never think of tricking our valuable customers like that. I mean, we give out high 5's like they're going out of style.
I think we all learned a valuable lesson here. It's Apple's world, Levin. We're all just living in it.