Originally Posted by Fireball1244
This is the first thing Apple has done with it's iOS policies that has upset me. This is not fair, and in the end, it is users who will get hurt.
Arguing that Apple deserves a 30% cut of every book Amazon sells that ends up on an iPad is completely illogical. Those same books could be read in Amazon's software on Windows. Does Microsoft deserve a 30% cut for allowing the Kindle app to be installed on Windows? Does Apple deserve a 30% cut of book sales if the user has installed the Kindle app on their Mac through the Mac App Store?
Of course not.
Apple doesn't deserve a cut in the transaction because Apple *hasn't done anything*. If I'm on my iPad, and I am reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy and decided "Hey, I'd like to read 'No Country for Old Men,'" and go back to the Kindle app and hit "Store" which takes me to Safari where I buy the book, Apple has in no way facilitated the purchase. Amazon is handling the entire process, covering the cost of transmitting the file to me, and picking up the credit card processing fees and managing the payment of related taxes. Apple has done nothing. They don't deserve a 30% cut.
Would Apple deserve a 30% cut if I bought that same book through Amazon's website on my computer, and then opened it up and read it on my iPad? In that scenario, iOS wasn't even involved in the transaction, how can you argue that Apple deserves a cut?
Some argue that Apple deserves a cut for allowing Amazon to offer its software for iOS through the App Store. If that's the case, then doesn't it also deserve a cut when I buy on the Mac, since Kindle is in the Mac App Store? There's no logic to that position. You're effectively arguing that for the act of allowing the Kindle app to exist on iOS, Apple is entitled to a significant share of all the revenue that the user of the app sends to Amazon.
If the argument is that Apple deserves to be compensated solely because they allow the software to exist at all, that's an argument against allowing free apps on the iOS store, not an argument that logically justifies Apple screwing up a situation that has been very beneficial to iPad users.
The truth is that Apple and Amazon *both* benefit from the Kindle app being available on the iOS App Store. Amazon benefits from having a wider array of devices capable of reading books from its store. Apple benefits from the fact that the Kindle app makes the iPad a better ereader by providing access to a much, much better selection of books than iBooks provides. The iPad with a Nook app, a Kindle app and the iBooks app is the *best* possible ereader. Remove the Kindle and Nook apps, as this policy by Apple may well do, and the iPad becomes an *terrible* ereader because iBooks has a terrible selection. That makes the iPad a less compelling product.
As I see it, there are two possible ways this scenario plays out, if Apple doesn't do the right thing and allow users to continue using the Kindle and Nook apps in the current "everyone wins" scenarios:
1. Amazon adds an in-app book store, but charges 30% more for books to cover Apple's fees. So that $9.99 book now costs $14.25. This is not good for Amazon, as some users will not buy books over the $9.99 price Amazon has fought hard to establish as the high end price expectation for ebooks. This is not good for Apple, because someone looking at the in-app stores on an Android tablet and the iPad tablet will see that every Kindle book offered is significantly cheaper on Android. And this is not good for many consumers, who won't understand that there's a second method to buy books, so they end up spending more than they should.
2. Apple doesn't allow Amazon to price in-app books more than through-the-web books, in which case Amazon basically *has* to remove the Kindle app from the iOS store. For many books, particularly lower-priced books, Amazon splits revenue with publishers or authors in a 30/70 split, with the 30% going to Amazon. If Amazon sells me a $4.99 book and they have to give Apple 30% on top of the 70% they're giving the rightsholder, that leave them with, oh, 0% of the revenue, but 100% of the costs. That's obviously not viable.
Will Apple allow Amazon to price in-app purchases higher to offset the unnecessary costs Apple is now foisting on them? Or is Apple well aware of Amazon's financial structure in regards to its ebooks, and using this "in-app option" requirement to drive Kindle off the iOS platform?
I love Apple products. In the 17 years I've been using computers, I've owned nine Macs, three iPhones, two AppleTVs and an iPad. I am a huge advocate of the iPad, but this is a policy change that, to me, would greatly reduce the value of the device.
I want the iPad to be a device where I can read books from any ebook store, a device where I can watch my iTunes movies, my Hulu episodes and fun stuff on Netflix, not a device where the only approved content is that which gives Apple it's 30% revenue cut. Right now, the iPad is the device I want. This new policy from Apple will make it far less attractive. Which sucks, because I love the tablet form factor, and Android tablets are awful, and likely will continue to be.
In the past, Apple has used its iOS platform rules to do things that, in my mind, help the consumer. They've blocked Flash and all its problems. They've required apps to follow practices that improve security and stability.
This policy change won't help consumers. It will hurt them. This isn't using the rules to make iOS a better platform. This is using the rules to try to make more money for a company that last year posted over $16 billion in profits.
I love Apple, but that's not cool.