Letters of Mass Construction

iPad App Policy Is A Killer

One of the reasons I love my iPad is that it provides me with the ability to get to almost all of my digital content in one place. Want to read a Kindle book, no problem hit the button. Is the Nook more your speed? Again no problem hit the button. I use Zinio for a host of Magazine subscriptions. I read the New York Times. I surf the web. One machine many uses.

Apple apparently wants to steal some of that joy away from me. Interestingly if they steal too much of it I might suddenly find myself looking at other tablets. Which in turn could lead me to looking at other phones because, truthfully, I like having everything under one platform. The convenience is important to me. I like buying an app and having it work on everything. I have said all along that Apple makes the best product for me right now but I am no Apple slave and will jump ship in a heartbeat.

How does Apple want to steal my joy? Today they announced all applications must provide a way to purchase items in the app through the Apple app store. Not a big deal for a lot of apps but a huge deal for the Kindle and magazine subscriptions. The reason it is a huge deal is Apple is taking a 30% cut. Now, I want Apple to make a profit. It’s silly to think any company shouldn’t be making money. The problem is that 30% is ridiculously high when it comes to print.

I can’t imagine a world where Amazon is going to share 30% of any book sale when they are already selling the book at the bare minimum they can get away with. The loss for them would be huge. This goes for Barnes and Noble and many magazines also. I think magazines might be able to weather the storm because of advertisement dollars. The book companies won’t do it. Apple has given them until June 30th to comply.

Now I see a potential way around it but I wonder if Amazon will be willing to try it. That is you don’t sell any books through your app. You don’t send them to your website. You don’t send them to Apple’s app store. Instead the application just becomes a way for people to read their Amazon Kindle books on an iPad. I don’t know how many books Amazon sells now through the iPad. I, myself, still buy from their main site and just send it to my iPad. So disabling the in app purchase wouldn’t bother me.

I see a lot of applications balking at this cut Apple wants to take. I know they are providing a service with their app store and a platform with the iPad. Right now it is selling like hot cakes and that makes them boss hog. However, these types of policies open up doors for competitors to slip in. I can tell you right now if Amazon leaves the iPad but stays on Android tablets this makes Google’s entry into the tablet world a possibility for me.

If there are a lot of people like me this could open the door for Google. My wife and I are about to buy new phones but now I will be waiting until the June 30th deadline to see what Amazon and many other apps I use on iPad do. If they flee the platform I might just be fleeing with them. Apple is too smart of a company though to not make adjustments. If they see their bottom line hit, they will. I am guessing right now they feel invincible and can do anything they want. They should talk to Microsoft about how well that is working for them these days.

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One Response to “iPad App Policy Is A Killer”

  1. Pia Veleno says:

    >My fear is the 30% will be passed on to the publisher, and thus, the writer since many contracts pay the writer a percent of net. Per individual sale, I don't make much at all on a book sale, so adding another distribution fee to that will be painful.I suppose the alternative would be for Apple to behave like Microsoft's ebook seller. I found one of my stories there for more than a dollar more than the publisher's website. People do pay for the convenience of buying from that site, and while I don't get why, I do like that it gives the reader the choice the writer didn't have fee-wise.Ah, this is why I've stopped being lazy about using Amazon.com to fill my Kindle. I now buy from the publisher when I can, and side-load it on the device with the USB cord. It's an extra step, but it cuts out the middleman and lets the creator of the work get more of my money.Great post, Chris. I enjoy your blog, even when I don't leave a rambling reply. 😉

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