A change in enforcement of Apple’s app policy could force Amazon to take its popular Kindle app out of the iPhone and iPad App Store.
Apple is trying to funnel all payments for digital goods through its iTunes store, preventing companies like Amazon from collecting sales through its own channels without giving Apple a cut.
Up until now, Kindle iOS app users could buy a book on the web, then send it to their iPhones, or iPads. They could not buy the book from within the app.
That’s changing. Apple is going to force Amazon to offer users the option of buying the book in the Kindle app.
Apple spokesperson Trudy Miller tells us, “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.”
How is this going to nuke the Kindle app? Because Apple takes a 30% cut of every in-app sale. There’s no way Amazon is going to pay Apple a 30% tax on every Kindle eBook sold on an iOS device. Therefore, Amazon could just abandon Apple’s store instead of paying up.
Alternatively, it could view the 30% tax as a cost of business, and just play along. Or, it could make the button for purchasing in-app tiny, and the button for purchasing on the web through Amazon huge.
The controversy over in-app purchasing erupted when Sony revealed Apple rejected its e-reader app. Sony says its app was rejected because it didn’t offer the in-app payment option. If Amazon follows suit, it could be rejected, as well.
We’re emailing Amazon for a comment, and will update you if we hear back.