Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and the Wall Street Journal have removed all in-app purchasing options within the publication’s apps in Apple’s App Store. The move is in response to Apple’s in App Store requirements, which the company had set a June 30 deadline for compliance with.
Apple’s in-app purchasing rules made the news earlier this year when it rejected Sony’s e-reader application from being included in the store, which led to many speculating that Amazon’s Kindle app would be removed from the store.
In an official statement, Steve Jobs‘ said at the time “Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing”
Publishers are not required to make content available as an in-app purchase; however if they do then Apple may be entitled to a cut of that purchase price.
I’ve always been a bit on the fence about this. On a basic level, I see where Apple is coming from. If you are offering a free app in the app store, then selling content to go in the app- Apple isn’t making any money off of your application and you’re potentially making a crapload. It is, after all, Apple’s App Store. I think if I download the Kindle application and then buy $500 worth of books to read on my iPad, Apple deserves a small cut of that pie.
On the other hand, I imagine these reading applications are bringing a decent amount of new users to Apple products. Maybe not a huge number of people are buying iPads so they can read Kindle books, but it might be in some way influencing their decision to bite the bullet and buy an iOS device.
Publisher’s decision to stop in-app purchases doesn’t mean you can’t buy things to view in-app, it just means that purchase has to happen outside of the app itself.
What do you think? Does Apple deserve a cut on an in-app purchase, or is it being greedy?