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Apple's rejection of 'Readability' iOS app stirs subscription controversy - Page 4

post #121 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Do they sell subscriptions? If they generate revenue through the app, then Apple is entitled to 30%.

NO. Apple is not ENTITLED to 30%. Apple is requiring 30%. Again Apple is NOT ENTITLED to 30%. How do you come to the conclusion?
post #122 of 381
Apple wants to profit from an ecosystem which they have built at great expense and effort--and continue to improve. Many companies want acces to this ecosystem and apple has stated the rules and fees for its use.

Some companies may want to do an end run around apple's policies. That way they can use apple's highly valuable ecosystem and large and loyal installed base to collect minor or no fees for their products at the apple store, pay apple nothing or next to nothing for access to their valuable ecosystem, and then build their business and collect those fees through other avenues. Eventually, they can build their businesses and challenge apple on apple's back. For example, offer money losing deals to publishers or authors and once they have control over a critical mass of the industry, build their own distribution system and bypass apple completely. Put another way, they want to use apple's highway without paying the toll. Well, I say, pay the toll, use another road, or build your own. Problem solved. Therefore, I have no problems with apple's policy. They can adjust the 30% if and when they see fit to do so but it's their choice.
post #123 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_t View Post

Apple is not dictating prices. Apple's rules say you can sell online as well as in-App, but you cannot charge lower prices on your website than you do in the app. And any app listed in the App Store must have in-App payment method. These are the rules. They've always been there, Apple is just enforcing them. The developers got a free ride on that one for a while, but not anymore.

And by the way, this 30% thing is nothing. For example, if you have a product to sell, one of the best places to list it is on Amazon. Guaranteed to get plenty of built-in shoppers and e-traffic. If you list an item on Amazon, Amazon charges you a fee for doing so, and I promise you it is more than 30% (ebooks are 30% fee to Amazon I've heard). So why are people bitching about Apple, but noone is saying anything about Amazon, a site doing the EXACT SAME THING?

HOW is telling a company that they cannot sell a subscription for less on their website NOT dictating prices? What bizzaro version of English are you people using?!?
post #124 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Amazon does this sort of thing all the time, why aren't you whining about them? Not requiring price parity just opens another loophole where "developers" set ridiculous IAP prices to essentially force users not to use that mechanism.

Because I don't own a Kindle. Quit being so freaking pompous!!!!!!!!!!
post #125 of 381
Quote:
Ziade said that Apple's policy -- which he said "smacks of greed" -- will force Readability to embrace the Web and bypass the App Store.

what an ahole...
post #126 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnLee View Post

For an ebook, Amazon's cut is 30%, the publisher receives 70%

Not all publishers. Not all books.

http://forums.kindledirectpublishing...externalID=377
post #127 of 381
As an Android user, I fully support this policy by Apple and I hope they stick to their guns and don't back down. A lot of these developers put all their eggs in one (the iOS ecosystem) basket when they should have been developing for multiple platforms or building web apps. I hope they learn a lesson from this and start diverting/diversifying their attention and efforts to other platforms.

And given that Google has no such policy at all for Android (you don't have to use OnePass...it's optional....and you don't even have to use the Android Market if you don't want to), I'm hoping this will compel developers to focus on web apps or failing that to bring out apps on Android first and then port over to iOS once they're sure that the business model can withstand a 30% revenue cut from all iOS users (effectively an across the board 30% cut if all your customers are from the iOS ecosystem) or price increases for all users. Developers will now have to choose: 30% revenue cut in the App store or raise prices for all users (web, Android, WP7, Blackberry, etc.)

And for those who say Readability is unimportant, so be it. A lot of times, the best services and apps, start out small and obscure. Nobody hears about them until they go viral. I'd be more than happy to see many of these new guys start out on Android first. With this one move, Apple could easily make Android the first destination for innovation. Heck, even if Apple reverses itself, developers everywhere will now know how dangerous it is to rely on the iOS ecosystem for the bulk of their revenues.

If Google the brain trust has any real intelligence, they'll fix the problems that have been holding back sales of paid apps (namely...universal availability of paid apps in Android Market) and take full advantage of this situation. Ditto for Amazon, with it's Android app store. Microsoft would be wise to follow Google, rather than Apple's lead here.

Taking your cut is fine (even if that cut is 3o%). Demanding control over the developer's entire pricing model, and setting up rules that will effectively divert customers through your app store so you can increase your revenue at the developer's expense is the greedy (and arrogant) bit.
post #128 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

I don't agree. Content creators won't be paying any more by going directly through Apple than when they went through Amazon. Customers also won't be paying any more. That's a red herring.

I think you missed some important parts here.

When you are buying from iOS application, you are still buying from Amazon. You are not replacing Amazon with Apple and buying directly of publishers. Apple does not have contract with publishers - Amazon is. Apple is just another middle man.

Thinking of it, it would be really mad if Amazon offer Kindle app that would let you buy from Apple and completely avoid Amazon. Who on Earth would agree to make such app?!?

So basically what happens - much as I have understood it - is, if Amazon sells ebook of their web site, they charge, say, $10 for it and split that money with publisher, authors... but. If Amazon sells same book through their iOS app, Apple takes $3 and gives Amazon $7 to share with their contractors. From Amazon point of view, they are being forced to give Apple 30% better price than they are giving end users who buy directly off Amazon's web site. If it is true that Amazon is making roughly 30% themselves, this is basically taking all their profit away, or forcing them to re-negotiate with publishers for a different split. Eventually, like many people noticed, this would likely end up for amazon and publishers agreeing to pump book's price to $13.333 so that, when Apple takes their tax, they can still make sustainable profits.
post #129 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I have no problem with Apple requiring in-app purchase functionality. Dictating prices outside of the App Store is what I object to.

Oops! Apparently it's just business.

"General Pricing Rule: By our General Pricing rule, you must always ensure that the item price and total price of an item you list on Amazon.com are at or below the item price and total price at which you offer and/or sell the item via any other online sales channel."

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...nodeId=1161240
post #130 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

HOW is telling a company that they cannot sell a subscription for less on their website NOT dictating prices? What bizzaro version of English are you people using?!?

Apple is not dictating the absolute price an app has to sell outside the app store, it is dictating 'only' the relative price (relative to the in-app price).
It is dictating thus to some extent the price, and that is the point being made here. If you ignore this obviously implied meaning, you are intentionally misunderstanding others.
post #131 of 381
Another app rejection that is made to seem important when it isn't.
post #132 of 381
I think these companies/publishers/etc should advertise in big bold letters in their newspapers and magazines as well as on their websites to get their subscriptions outside of the app store until Apple realizes it mistake and drops the fee to around 5%.

Or just make HTML 5 web apps instead and totally bypass the app store completely. I also hope to see developers jumping ship until Apple gets their head on straight.

My fear is that the future iterations of OS X will become more and more closed. The Mac App Store is a Trogan horse that will affect the same type of mentality from Apple. So in the next couple of years are we going to see Apple restricting Netflix, Rhapsody, Pandora, NYT, etc from access to OS X as well...unless they pay 30% to Apple. When that happens...I am going back to Windows.
post #133 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I don't realize why so many people have so much trouble comprehending the simple fact that the App Store is not a fee for services system; it's a revenue sharing system. And the revenue sharing goes mostly to supporting the costs of operating the App Store. Developers trying to hide revenue so they don't have to share it according to the terms of the contract they signed with Apple are trying to avoid their share of these costs and stick other developers with them.

I can't believe I'm saying this....but I agree with you. The fundamental problem here is that a lot of developers didn't understand that model under which Apple was operating under. The App Store isn't just a portal to iOS customers. When you sell in the App Store, you in effect, become a junior partner in the iOS ecosystem, and that means Apple will gets its pound of flesh from you.

Developers who were naive enough to believe that Apple wouldn't get around to enforcing the developer agreement and naive enough to believe that Apple actually cares about them, deserve the treatment they are getting now.
post #134 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafe View Post

They can up the price to $6 and still get close to what they did when they were flaunting the rules.

Did you miss the economics lecture on supply and demand and equilibrium price points? You can't just up the price by $6 for all your customers (not just iOS subs) and necessarily make the same revenue.
post #135 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Apple is not dictating the absolute price an app has to sell outside the app store, it is dictating 'only' the relative price (relative to the in-app price).
It is dictating thus to some extent the price, and that is the point being made here. If you ignore this obviously implied meaning, you are intentionally misunderstanding others.

I am quite aware of idea of a relative price versus absolute price. You can say it how you want (a game of semantics), but the moment someone starts using language such as "...is dictating thus to some extent..." a person has admitted that Apple is directly influencing the price other's must charge (and pay) for a service or subscription.
post #136 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Most favoured nation clauses are mutually agreed, not imposed by one party.

For fuck's sake, can some of you guys at least try and bring a little logic and reasoning to your arguments?

Clauses EXACTLY like that are almost always imposed by one party. And if you sign on the dotted line, or you press the "AGREE" button, then you have.... AGREED!
post #137 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

I can't believe I'm saying this....but I agree with you. The fundamental problem here is that a lot of developers didn't understand that model under which Apple was operating under. The App Store isn't just a portal to iOS customers. When you sell in the App Store, you in effect, become a junior partner in the iOS ecosystem, and that means Apple will gets its pound of flesh from you.

Developers who were naive enough to believe that Apple wouldn't get around to enforcing the developer agreement and naive enough to believe that Apple actually cares about them, deserve the treatment they are getting now.

Deserves? Wow. Well maybe they "deserve" to go to another competitor or switch to another business model wholly using web apps, thereby bypassing Apple completely.
post #138 of 381
People here keep quoting Amazon's policy to justify Apple's policy. This is dumb on so many levels it's hard to resist commenting on it:

1. It doesn't matter what Amazon does, just because Amazon does something bad doesn't mean Apple should do the same.

2. Amazon is selling content, not subscription. Subscription has a completely different cost structure compared to content.

3. Apple is also not just charging for subscription, it's charging 30% of any bundle that includes an iOS app. E.g. If you sell a bundle, with a subscription of certain content + access to an iOS app (which could be related or not related to the subscription itself), Apple still wants 30% of the whole bundle's price. i.e. Apple wants 30% of your revenue from products that's not even part of the iOS app. In fact for lot's of companies, Apple wants 30% of all your revenue, even those only a small part of your product line comes from the iOS app.
post #139 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

Apple wants to profit from an ecosystem which they have built at great expense and effort--and continue to improve. Many companies want acces to this ecosystem and apple has stated the rules and fees for its use.

Some companies may want to do an end run around apple's policies. That way they can use apple's highly valuable ecosystem and large and loyal installed base to collect minor or no fees for their products at the apple store, pay apple nothing or next to nothing for access to their valuable ecosystem, and then build their business and collect those fees through other avenues. Eventually, they can build their businesses and challenge apple on apple's back. For example, offer money losing deals to publishers or authors and once they have control over a critical mass of the industry, build their own distribution system and bypass apple completely. Put another way, they want to use apple's highway without paying the toll. Well, I say, pay the toll, use another road, or build your own. Problem solved. Therefore, I have no problems with apple's policy. They can adjust the 30% if and when they see fit to do so but it's their choice.

Typically, you'll find that there must be some kind of mutual benefit for an ecosystem to work. Too much imbalance in one direction leads to consequences in others.
post #140 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by doh123 View Post

no... they do not dictate the price you sell it for in any shape... you are setting your own price based on many factors.

They simply say, you cannot sell it in app for a higher price than you sell it for outside. Thats all. You are just twisting their words around to try to find something to complain about.

You can sell your content for free, or 1 cent or 5 billion dollars... thats up to you... but you cannot price it higher in the app... thats all.

Apple requires that your price is the same as your price PLUS Apple tax.

In my book, that is dictating. And a nasty one.

Not dictating would be, Apple looks at Amazon price AND adds their margin on top of it. Product is more expensive but here you pay for more streamlined experience. It is like flying economy and business class - you spend same time in the air, but quality of service makes difference in price.
post #141 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Well, Apple certainly seems to be losing the PR war here. They do come off as greedy and more controlling than in the past. They have always had a high profit margin, but fans (like me) said "it is worth it for a great product package." Here, it doesn't seem that Apple is adding all that much with in-app subscriptions...

I don't see how they will win all these battles. Not sure where it will end...

While I support Apple being able to do what they want with their platform (within reason - I hope that the Mac App Store does not mean that in the future this will be the only way to install apps on my computer), I also support developers doing what they need to do too. I have netflix, kindle, hulu and rhapsody and would hate to see those go (as I don't see them being able to survive paying a third of their iPhone revenue to Apple) but hopefully they will go back to a iPhone mobile safari system where I don't need an app (or just allow me to do it via Cydia).
post #142 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

... Their new subscription policies are the equivalent of Microsoft charging Apple a 30% fee every time Apple sold a song through iTunes for Windows, simply because Apple is using Microsoft's platform...

And for my next phone, I will be looking at Android.

That's rather ridiculous, you can currently buy anything you'd like using Apples OS platform without a cent going to Apple, on the web that is.

Not saying that 30% is the right or wrong percentage, but charging for something on a purchase via iTunes is a different proposition. You don't seem to understand retailing, online or otherwise. An art gallery gets 50% of every sale, Amazon gets 70% of publications subs, etc. 30% as a flat rate is pretty reasonable in comparison.

As for Android users, they are notorious for not wanting to spend a dime on anything ... watch developers as they flock to cater to that crowd ...
post #143 of 381
i haven't read every last post here, but it seems there's quite a debate about whether apple is justified in keeping 30% of every sale through their store. i think they are, but let me step away from that debate, and look at readability's position for a moment.

do you use readability? i do. you go to a web page - say, the new york times, or appleinsider - and click on readability in the browser. their technology reformats that web page (someone else's content and design, none of it created or owned by readability) to make it more "readable" by stripping out all of the extraneous bits... like advertising. that's right - using readability deprives other publishers of their key source of revenue: ad clicks and eyeballs.

now readability is outraged because apple has some conflicts with their underlying technology and objections to the way readability generates revenue? seems like karmic payback to me.
post #144 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

... So in the next couple of years are we going to see Apple restricting Netflix, Rhapsody, Pandora, NYT, etc from access to OS X as well...unless they pay 30% to Apple. When that happens...I am going back to Windows.

'Restricting access to OX X as well ...' ?

What are you talking about, this appears nonsensical as are your fears.
post #145 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

But Amazon's 70% is not?

Wrong! The Agency Model splits books sales 70% publisher 30% Amazon.
post #146 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Another app rejection that is made to seem important when it isn't.

Sort of like you???
post #147 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by hface119 View Post

I don't see what all the hub-ub is about. This is THEIR phone, using THEIR App Store. They should reserve the right for business to be run on their terms. Why shouldn't they get a cut of developer's who make money off of the software they put on their device? It's the same way when royalites are paid to creators of films or television shows that are later remade, or when actors are paid for DVDs and such that are sold of their films.

Well, the question here is not whether they have the right or not to do it, but whether it is smart of them to do it
post #148 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Deserves? Wow. Well maybe they "deserve" to go to another competitor or switch to another business model wholly using web apps, thereby bypassing Apple completely.

Read my previous comment. I sincerely hope they do that.
post #149 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vital0gy View Post

Sort of like you???

No more than you pal, or anyone else on these boards.

Anyway, I think John Gruber of Daring Fireball makes a good point:

-----------------------------------------------

http://daringfireball.net/

Readability iOS App Rejected for Violating New Subscription Content Guidelines
Richard Ziade of Readability, in an Open Letter to Apple regarding their apps rejectiong:

Were obviously disappointed by this decision, and surprised by the broad language. By including functionality, or services, its clear that you intend to pursue any subscription-based apps, not merely those of services serving up content. Readabilitys model is unique in that 70% of our service fees go directly to writers and publishers. If we implemented In App purchasing, your 30% cut drastically undermines a key premise of how Readability works.

I can see how many people, including content providers like Readability, wish that Apple had not instituted these new rules. But, given these rules, how can anyone be surprised by this rejection? Readabilitys business model is to charge a subscription fee, keep 30 percent, and pass 70 percent along to the writers/publishers of the articles being read by Readability users. Sound familiar?

Maybe Im missing something, but these guys claiming to be surprised and disappointed by Apples insistence on a 30 percent cut of subscriptions when their own business model is to take a 30 percent cut of subscriptions strikes me as rich. And how can they claim that Readability isnt serving up content? Thats exactly what Readability does. What theyre pissed about is that Apple has the stronger hand. Readability needs Apple to publish an app in the App Store. Apple doesnt need Readability.

---------------------------------------------
post #150 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Wrong. You don't own the patents on it. They do. So go pedal YOUR KoolAid somewhere else!

Have you posted ANYTHING on this thread that wasn't immediately repudiated?

And, the word you're thinking of is "peddle."

post #151 of 381
It's entertaining to see comments in other forums condeming Apple for being greedy-bottom-line-centic and other such nonsense.... As if the app developers or google or anyone for that matter are aiming to provide communitty service????

Every company will try to use their leverage to help their bottom line....when did things get so goofy with this "higher moral ground" crap?

Dunno if it will hurt them or help them. They have reversed policies that don't work in the past so they may do the same
post #152 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vital0gy View Post

Sort of like you???

No more than you pal, or anyone else on these boards.

Anyway, I think John Gruber of Daring Fireball makes a good point:

-----------------------------------------------

http://daringfireball.net/

Readability iOS App Rejected for Violating New Subscription Content Guidelines
Richard Ziade of Readability, in an Open Letter to Apple regarding their apps rejectiong:

Were obviously disappointed by this decision, and surprised by the broad language. By including functionality, or services, its clear that you intend to pursue any subscription-based apps, not merely those of services serving up content. Readabilitys model is unique in that 70% of our service fees go directly to writers and publishers. If we implemented In App purchasing, your 30% cut drastically undermines a key premise of how Readability works.

I can see how many people, including content providers like Readability, wish that Apple had not instituted these new rules. But, given these rules, how can anyone be surprised by this rejection? Readabilitys business model is to charge a subscription fee, keep 30 percent, and pass 70 percent along to the writers/publishers of the articles being read by Readability users. Sound familiar?

Maybe Im missing something, but these guys claiming to be surprised and disappointed by Apples insistence on a 30 percent cut of subscriptions when their own business model is to take a 30 percent cut of subscriptions strikes me as rich. And how can they claim that Readability isnt serving up content? Thats exactly what Readability does. What theyre pissed about is that Apple has the stronger hand. Readability needs Apple to publish an app in the App Store. Apple doesnt need Readability.

---------------------------------------------




Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Deserves? Wow. Well maybe they "deserve" to go to another competitor or switch to another business model wholly using web apps, thereby bypassing Apple completely.

They'd also be bypassing Apple's ecosystem. Not a good idea when you're interested in mindshare, money, and appealing to the most well-heeled segment of the market. No one wants to be left off the iPad.
post #153 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

No more than you pal, or anyone else on these boards.
---------------------------------------------

I'm not your pal, sycophant.
post #154 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

They'd also be bypassing Apple's ecosystem. Not a good idea when you're interested in mindshare, money, and appealing to the most well-heeled segment of the market. No one wants to be left off the iPad.

These argument comes up often. But doesn't hold water for every case. Do you really think Kindle and Netflix need the iOS ecosystem? Do you think they've gained significant (this being the key word...before you go arguing) visibility and mindshare that they didn't have before? And who do you think really benefits from their presence in the ecosystem? I'd argue that Apple benefits as much (if not more) from some of these developers. Think about what iPhone or iPad commercials would be like without apps from third party devs.
post #155 of 381
This is the first of what could be additional steps for Apple to bring manageability to the App Store. There are hundreds of thousand of apps in the store. First thing is to establish that all rules and regs are adhered to by everyone. There is a tremendous amount of deadwood and freeloaders. They are Apple's first targets.
If this App Store is going to work efficiently and be a better experience than it is now, Apple must have the ability to reduce the number of Apps. There are other shoes going to drop.
Amazon has a free Kindle App in the store right now. It isn't in Apple's best interest to carry that into the future. That's only one example. If Amazon wants to be in Apple's store they could offer Apple's products for sale on Amazon for no cut to Amazon. That's the way business works. It's not likely. What is possible is for Amazon to make a private deal that is acceptable to Apple. Both of their apps remain in the store, Apple is satisfied and so is Amazon. This whole thing can be solved rather easily. Amazon just has to go to Apple directly.
I have both am Amazon and Kindle App on my touch. The maintenance of those Apps in the store costs Apple. It isn't fair to the other smaller devs that are generating income for the maintenance of the store to have a freeloader the size of Amazon right next to their App.
Should Apple subsidize Amazon's business model for free and make the little guys pay? On the face of it is being unfair to the smaller guys who are generating income for the maintenance of the store.
post #156 of 381
If Readability would go to Cydia that would certainly frost Apple's a**. I really wish some developers who get rejected by Apple would do this. Apple is certainly a superb company and Steve Jobs is a genius. But they're getting a little too greedy. I also object to the dictates of Jobs as to what I'm allowed to view on my Apple device. So far, the superiority of Apple products has outweighed the negatives. But more and more, I see that changing. The more crap Apple pulls like this, the more opportunity competitors have to produce a product that gives people and developers more freedom of choice. Android is overtaking iPhone - even though I still feel the iPhone is superior. It just shows that Apple has competition and they could lose if they don't stay on top of their game. They need to stop and think about their pissing off customers and developers.
post #157 of 381
Apple may be able to run iOS perfectly on top of OSX so Apple can offer a curated experience with great power. Not saying it's going to happen, but it's possible. A perfect solution for business to totally control what their computers do.
post #158 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

NO. Apple is not ENTITLED to 30%. Apple is requiring 30%. Again Apple is NOT ENTITLED to 30%. How do you come to the conclusion?

You apparently didn't read the memo that the App Store is a revenue sharing based system. You agree to share 30% of the revenue from your app with them as part of the terms of the developer agreement. They are therefore entitled to it.
post #159 of 381
Apple is wrong with this.

The app is free and is for people who already have a subscription to a service. IF the app doesnt link to the website to subscribe I dont see why it must sell the in-app subscription...
The app rely on ITS OWN subscribers that it got by ITSELF on there website. This is suppose to be allowed.

SJ should may be a genius regarding hardware, but I think he should let someone else handle anything regarding itunes and content providers negociations.
post #160 of 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

These argument comes up often. But doesn't hold water for every case. Do you really think Kindle and Netflix need the iOS ecosystem? Do you think they've gained significant (this being the key word...before you go arguing) visibility and mindshare that they didn't have before? And who do you think really benefits from their presence in the ecosystem? I'd argue that Apple benefits as much (if not more) from some of these developers. Think about what iPhone or iPad commercials would be like without apps from third party devs.

Apple gear would still sell. Because it's Apple's design and UI tech. That kind of sex appeal is hard to get around.
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