eBooks: Apple sort of clarifies in-app purchase rule

Posted on by Mike Evans

The furore over the alleged banning of Sony's iOS ereader app is producing conflicting statements and no clear explanation as to why Amazon can do it while Sony can't. Personally I would welcome Sony to my iPhone because I bought about 50 books on the Sony system while using the Sony reader. Now I no longer own a Sony I have no way of accessing these books. The new Sony app would presumably have offered a way of getting my old content onto the iPhone.

Apple clearly have a problem. I can understand their desire to protect the revenue stream from sales of apps, both in the iOS and Mac stores. But I cannot help feeling that content is different. To attempt to take a 30% cut on all book sales, from whatever source, smells of restrictive practice and will not succeed in the long run. It seems that Apple, not content with providing an operating system, selling hardware and taking a cut on all applications, wants to control everything we buy. Imagine if Microsoft attempted to take a cut on all sales made on the internet via Windows computers. National governments and, in particular, the meddlesome EU, would soon step in to stop that. I would caution Apple not to push themselves too much into the corner on this because, in the end, they will lose the war.

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