Photo: Associated Press
Since Apple blocked Sony’s e-reader app from its app store, people have wondered what it means for Kindle and other apps that sell content purchased elsewhere like Netflix.Apple says it hasn’t changed the rules. But the problem is that the actual rules are so vaguely worded that even though this decision is technically consistent with the written rules, it’s actually a change of rules.
For example, in-app purchases not going through Apple’s system (wherein Apple takes a cut) have always been disallowed. But Kindle’s app doesn’t make purchase within the app: it takes you to your browser where you buy your e-book, and the purchase is then synced through the Kindle app. But the rules are worded in a way that would allow Apple to ban that, too.
Apple god John Gruber has a pretty good rundown of the issues, what they mean for Apple, Amazon and Sony. Does this mean Amazon will have to offer in-app purchasing and give Apple a 30% split? (Never gonna happen in a million years.) Or will Amazon offer in-app purchasing with a price bump to reflect Apple’s tax and still offer the straight prices in the browser? (Slightly less far-fetched.) Will Apple just ban Amazon and Barnes & Noble after turning down Sony?
Right now we don’t know. But we’re going to find out.
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