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Amazon updates Kindle iOS app with book searches, slides by App Store purchasing rules

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
With the latest Kindle for iOS app, Amazon is for the first time offering in-app book searches and previews, the latter including a clever mechanism for purchasing an e-book without having to pay out a percentage to Apple.

Kindle


The latest Kindle for iOS version 3.9 introduces a new feature called "Free Sample Search," which lets users look and download samples of books from Amazon's vast catalog. To avoid Apple's mandated 30 percent cut of purchases, the app kicked users out to Safari, where they would have to search for titles on Amazon's website.

With the latest update's free samples, however, the Internet sales giant found a new way to skirt Apple's restrictions. Users can now search for a popular book, download a free sample, and when they are finished, a pop-up reading "Before you go?" will appear. From here, users can either close the sample, or generate an email to themselves with a purchase link for the book.

According to Amazon, "millions" of books now have free samples for iOS, but it is unclear if and when the company plans to roll out the functionality across its entire catalog.

As for other app upgrades, Kindle for iOS now offers the ability to use previously purchased dictionaries as sources to define words in any other ebook. Purchased dictionaries are automatically recognized and become available for definition lookups in the selection list.

The app also includes new accessibility gestures for blind and visually impaired users, while the "Instant Cover Loader" displays book cover art faster than previous versions. Finally, the app comes with the usual bug fixes and performance enhancements.

Kindle for iOS is available now as a free 18MB download from the App Store.
post #2 of 31
I bet that just slipped by.
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post #3 of 31

Heads should roll at the department in charge of reviewing apps.  Apple gots to be paid. 

post #4 of 31
This disgusts me. Why should amazon NOT pay a percentage, when they're selling to a userbase of hundreds of millions of people on the most active mobile operating system in the world? And, on top of that, when they're competing with Apple's own bookstore? Yeah, God forbid Amazon follow the rules.
post #5 of 31

Just par for the course for the parasite called Amazon.  They leech on the brick and mortar stores for free showrooming, they leech on state goverrnments and residents by avoiding sales taxes and killing employment and economic activity by local retailers, why should Apple be exempted from Amazon the parasite?

post #6 of 31
a
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

This disgusts me. Why should amazon NOT pay a percentage, when they're selling to a userbase of hundreds of millions of people on the most active mobile operating system in the world? And, on top of that, when they're competing with Apple's own bookstore? Yeah, God forbid Amazon follow the rules.

There should be tiered percentages, because in this instance Apple does nothing more than handle the transaction. Storage and distribution is handled by Amazon whereas with other apps it's handled by Apple.
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post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

This disgusts me. Why should amazon NOT pay a percentage, when they're selling to a userbase of hundreds of millions of people on the most active mobile operating system in the world? And, on top of that, when they're competing with Apple's own bookstore? Yeah, God forbid Amazon follow the rules.

Why should Amazon pay a percentage to Apple whilst the users databases significantly overlap?

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Just par for the course for the parasite called Amazon.  They leech on the brick and mortar stores for free showrooming, they leech on state goverrnments and residents by avoiding sales taxes and killing employment and economic activity by local retailers, why should Apple be exempted from Amazon the parasite?

 

 

Concerning paying taxes, Apple doesn't seem to be a good pupil either

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

 

 

Concerning paying taxes, Apple doesn't seem to be a good pupil either

Apple collects state sales taxes - at least in Texas - for as long as I can remember.  They pay US taxes as owed.  The issue is whether they should pay US tax rates on sales that have nothing to do with the US other than the product being designed here.  

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianloftus View Post

Apple collects state sales taxes - at least in Texas - for as long as I can remember.  They pay US taxes as owed.  The issue is whether they should pay US tax rates on sales that have nothing to do with the US other than the product being designed here.  

- Are you saying that Amazon does not pay the taxes that they owe?

- Are you saying that the design is trivial? I was under the assumption that the design is what set the Apple products from the rest.

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Just par for the course for the parasite called Amazon.  They leech on the brick and mortar stores for free showrooming, they leech on state goverrnments and residents by avoiding sales taxes and killing employment and economic activity by local retailers, why should Apple be exempted from Amazon the parasite?

 

Retailers collect sales tax for the government but when they don't, the sales tax is suppose to be paid by individuals when we file our taxes. By lying when we file our taxes and not paying these taxes that would mean the shoppers that are not paying are the parasites.

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

This disgusts me. Why should amazon NOT pay a percentage, when they're selling to a userbase of hundreds of millions of people on the most active mobile operating system in the world? And, on top of that, when they're competing with Apple's own bookstore? Yeah, God forbid Amazon follow the rules.

 

They are following the rules.  All it does is email you a reminder to buy it later.  Apple never said you couldn't do that.  They haven't violated any existing terms.  I guess Apple should get money from Walmart every time someone shares an item via the Walmart app and a purchase occurs?  How Apple would amend their terms to affect ONLY what Amazon is doing and not impact Target, Walmart, and many other retailers that allow you to generate an email about an item? 

 

Apple does not deserve to make money on every purchase that occurs on this planet as a result of an iPhone.

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

This disgusts me. Why should amazon NOT pay a percentage, when they're selling to a userbase of hundreds of millions of people on the most active mobile operating system in the world? And, on top of that, when they're competing with Apple's own bookstore? Yeah, God forbid Amazon follow the rules.

What?  The app allows users to download a free copy of a book and send an email to themselves reminding them to buy it if they want later.

Apple's charge of 30% is for:
-having the App Store (Access to ecosystem)

-Use of Apple's servers and storage, etc as the post below this suggests.

While I don't think Amazon should pay 0%, I think 30% is higher than it should be for a case like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


There should be tiered percentages, because in this instance Apple does nothing more than handle the transaction. Storage and distribution is handled by Amazon whereas with other apps it's handled by Apple.

Yeah, that would be a good idea.  However, probably worse for profits at Apple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

Why should Amazon pay a percentage to Apple whilst the users databases significantly overlap?

Because Apple will die if they lose the "chump change" (relatively speaking) from one application.

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post #15 of 31
I will continue to support Apple for my e-books but my little kids a lot of times prefer analog books which I buy through Amazon & sometimes at the Barnes & Noble store
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

This disgusts me. Why should amazon NOT pay a percentage, when they're selling to a userbase of hundreds of millions of people on the most active mobile operating system in the world? And, on top of that, when they're competing with Apple's own bookstore? Yeah, God forbid Amazon follow the rules.

 

Clearly they feel Apples tax rate of 30% is too high.  If they can claim the sale is via the internet and not Apple's ecosystem they just found a great way not to pay the Apple tax.  They benefit from Apples ecosystem and users and don't pay to support it.  Leave that to the suckers in the ecosystem.  Brilliant!

 

Apple claims much of its IP is not generated in the US, but in Ireland.  Instead of paying the 35% tax rate in the US, by claiming the income is generated in Ireland rather than the US, they avoid the taxes in the US.  Never mind the expensive school systems they benefit from, or the incredible amount of taxpayer resources they use in tying up the legal system.  Let the suckers within the US pay for that and they can get the benefits for free.  Brilliant!

post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

 

Clearly they feel Apples tax rate of 30% is too high.  If they can claim the sale is via the internet and not Apple's ecosystem they just found a great way not to pay the Apple tax.  They benefit from Apples ecosystem and users and don't pay to support it.  Leave that to the suckers in the ecosystem.  Brilliant!

 

Apple claims much of its IP is not generated in the US, but in Ireland.  Instead of paying the 35% tax rate in the US, by claiming the income is generated in Ireland rather than the US, they avoid the taxes in the US.  Never mind the expensive school systems they benefit from, or the incredible amount of taxpayer resources they use in tying up the legal system.  Let the suckers within the US pay for that and they can get the benefits for free.  Brilliant!

 

Apple should just kick Amazon out they are competitor and parasitic one at that, nothing good will come from supporting Amazon or Google on the Apple store. 

post #18 of 31
I see Apple stock going to the moon in the next five years, but in the same five years I see Amazon stock going to Pluto!
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

This disgusts me. Why should amazon NOT pay a percentage, when they're selling to a userbase of hundreds of millions of people on the most active mobile operating system in the world? And, on top of that, when they're competing with Apple's own bookstore? Yeah, God forbid Amazon follow the rules.

There should be tiered percentages, because in this instance Apple does nothing more than handle the transaction. Storage and distribution is handled by Amazon whereas with other apps it's handled by Apple.

Apple also created an environment where people actually want to go to. They created hardware that people want to by, and pay more for compared to the competition. They pay for the marketing, the whole money transaction system and have set the rules for their App Store model. Companies selling apps and content on the App Store know in advance Apple takes a 30% cut. If that's considered a high percentage so be it, then don't sell on the App Store.

The App Store rules are easy to understand. Don't like it, sell your wares elsewhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

Concerning paying taxes, Apple doesn't seem to be a good pupil either

-1
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post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Apple also created an environment where people actually want to go to. They created hardware that people want to by, and pay more for compared to the competition. They pay for the marketing, the whole money transaction system and have set the rules for their App Store model. Companies selling apps and content on the App Store know in advance Apple takes a 30% cut. If that's considered a high percentage so be it, then don't sell on the App Store.

The App Store rules are easy to understand. Don't like it, sell your wares elsewhere.
-1

And the vast majority of people who have the Kindle App, did not get it because of Apple.

They got it because they used Amazon, and they wanted to keep all there content from one provided.
Once more, doesn't make sense for Apple to take 30% from someone who they did not market the app for, that has their own transaction system that works just as well (on Kindle's and such)?  I take it you are fine with Amazon's email approach then, because it gives people the option to buy it later from Amazon, or buy it right away through the app (or does the app redirect to safari?  It was hard to tell)



As for taxes?  Seriously?  Apple (and most of huge American companies, probably many in other countries as well) evades paying them.  Despite the fact they use goods and services that were provided by tax dollars, and hire people who learned from places that used tax dollars, Apple is unwilling to pay back into that.  

Seriously?  How does being truthful about that deserve a -1?

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post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

 

Clearly they feel Apples tax rate of 30% is too high.  If they can claim the sale is via the internet and not Apple's ecosystem they just found a great way not to pay the Apple tax.  They benefit from Apples ecosystem and users and don't pay to support it.  Leave that to the suckers in the ecosystem.  Brilliant!

 

Apple claims much of its IP is not generated in the US, but in Ireland.  Instead of paying the 35% tax rate in the US, by claiming the income is generated in Ireland rather than the US, they avoid the taxes in the US.  Never mind the expensive school systems they benefit from, or the incredible amount of taxpayer resources they use in tying up the legal system.  Let the suckers within the US pay for that and they can get the benefits for free.  Brilliant!

 

 

 

You are entirely incorrect.  You've got a lot of sentiment, but light on facts.  Here you go:

 

1. Apple charges a 30% fee as a digital retailer for content and items sold through their online retail store.  This is an incredibly good deal for almost every manufacturer placing product in Apple's storefronts.  They always complain to try and get lower costs, but the reality is that this is a steal for retail space, and an incredible bargain basement discount for "premium" popular retail space/presence.  

 

2. Apple sells products in many countries around the world, it pays all the taxes it is required.  They made a deal to locate Apple's European operations in Ireland in 1980.  At the time, their government was trying to encourage high tech companies to open there, to attract higher paying technical jobs and kickstart local economies.  They promised Apple a certain tax rate, and Apple has been there for decades.  When the EU enacted a single currency in 1993 and enacted new tax laws, Ireland's existing economic policies were preserved and part of the country's charter into the EU. The structure of the EU is such that Apple Ireland can operate in Europe as a European entity, and retains their local (Irish) tax structure.  If you think that's a problem, then basically you're saying the entire EU is dumb, but it has nothing to do with Apple.  Any companies that took the risk of developing a high tech industry (including infrastructure financing) in the rural agrarian 1980's Ireland, deserve whatever tax break they are getting.  It worked out very well for the country of Ireland, and now its an asset for the entire EU.

 

3. Apple creates IP in the US, and pays corporate taxes for any business operating expenses regarding that here (materials, employees, etc).  It is then licensed to their international operations, which is the standard behavior for every international company on the planet and protected/expected by a wide variety of international treaties.

 

4. Expensive school systems have nothing to do with Apple, people pay for their own educations, Apple pays them for their work.  Where's the relationship?  I believe Apple even pays tuition for some employees who they wish to pursue additional degrees and education. 

 

5. Apple pays for every second they are in US courts, you should read up on "legal fees" and "court costs".  There is no taxpayer expense, unless the government is using it's resources to try and prosecute them.  The Obama administration has directed the DOJ to pursue anti-trust litigation over ebooks against Apple.  Until there is a final judgment, and if they are found guilty, and if Apple's penalties (including legal fees) cover the governments costs over this current trial, then no taxpayer "resources" will have been utilized.  If Apple wins the case, or the penalties don't cover the governments costs for pursuing this trial, then taxpayer "resources" aka taxes will have been used.  However that is the Obama administration's decision and responsibility to account/justify this, it's entirely their action.

post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by QAMF View Post

As for taxes?  Seriously?  Apple (and most of huge American companies, probably many in other countries as well) evades paying them.  Despite the fact they use goods and services that were provided by tax dollars, and hire people who learned from places that used tax dollars, Apple is unwilling to pay back into that.  


Seriously?  How does being truthful about that deserve a -1?


-QAMF

It may be true, I was responding to the 'fact' that this is standard procedure. Also for citizens. I ask my accountant to get a tax return, every single year. If there are ways to get money back, or pay less tax, doesn't everyone try this? Isn't this a standard, universally accepted MO?
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post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by QAMF View Post

And the vast majority of people who have the Kindle App, did not get it because of Apple.

They got it because they used Amazon, and they wanted to keep all there content from one provided.
Once more, doesn't make sense for Apple to take 30% from someone who they did not market the app for, that has their own transaction system that works just as well (on Kindle's and such)?  I take it you are fine with Amazon's email approach then, because it gives people the option to buy it later from Amazon, or buy it right away through the app (or does the app redirect to safari?  It was hard to tell)



As for taxes?  Seriously?  Apple (and most of huge American companies, probably many in other countries as well) evades paying them.  Despite the fact they use goods and services that were provided by tax dollars, and hire people who learned from places that used tax dollars, Apple is unwilling to pay back into that.  

Seriously?  How does being truthful about that deserve a -1?

-QAMF

 

Seriously?  Maybe you are being honest about your feelings about your perspective, but there's zero truth in what you posted.

 

Apple doesn't TAKE 30% from anyone.  Apple charges a 30% retail commission for sales they make in Apple online retail storefronts.  This is a bargain, most retail commissions are 50%, higher for premium storefronts.  How well Amazon's stores work is irrelevant.  Also you'd probably be surprised to realize that Apple puts their products in Amazon stores, and very likely pays Amazon's retail commission for any sales.  If Amazon agrees to retail with Apple, then they are wrong if they are cheating paying on sales generated thru Apple's App Store.  *I have no idea if Amazon is or isn't violating their agreement, but you're very off track with your reasoning and opinions.  

 

Apple doesn't avoid paying taxes, they pay all their taxes.  See my post above.  "Most huge American companies"  sounds like biased and bigoted opinion because it's totally detached from reality.  If any huge US corporation (or individual) is cheating on their taxes, then the IRS has a massive incentive to go after them.  You do know that Apple submits massive, stacks of tax documents regularly to the IRS, who pours over them for any irregularities?  Even minor errors on Apple's tax returns would mean lots of penalty revenue for the IRS, and they don't really have a history of tolerance or forgiveness.  

 

You've probably recently heard politicians talking about Apple and taxes in the news, well let this be a lesson to you: politicians often distort the truth, crave press, and never miss an opportunity to pander to any perceived or imaginary grievance.  For examples, please see "entirety of human history" or the specific careers of Senators McCain and Schumer.  

 

What goods and services are produced by tax dollars?  Which of these is Apple responsible to pay for?  What do taxes have to do with employees and their education?  Most higher education is payed out of pocket by students, lower education is mostly paid thru local property taxes, and you'd choke on the amount of that Apple pays here and around the world.

post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


It may be true, I was responding to the 'fact' that this is standard procedure. Also for citizens. I ask my accountant to get a tax return, every single year. If there are ways to get money back, or pay less tax, doesn't everyone try this? Isn't this a standard, universally accepted MO?

You said they "evade" taxes.  That is false.  Taxes either apply or they don't.  Evading taxes is illegal.

 

Diligent and efficient filing is the polar opposite of evasion.
 
When you tell your account you "want to get money back" or "pay less tax", I'm guessing he translates what you're describing into "take another look at my return to see if there's any allowed deductions" that combined with your income tax rate equals your total tax bill.  Your bill is not calculated until you present your filling, and generally people try to file a return that the IRS will agree with.  If you're talking about "everyone" trying to bend some deductions to cover borderline stuff, then no this is not universal, and it's very risky at the big corporate level.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by redefiler View Post

Apple doesn't avoid paying taxes, they pay all their taxes.  See my post above.  "Most huge American companies"  sounds like biased and bigoted opinion because it's totally detached from reality.  If any huge US corporation (or individual) is cheating on their taxes, then the IRS has a massive incentive to go after them.  You do know that Apple submits massive, stacks of tax documents regularly to the IRS, who pours over them for any irregularities?  Even minor errors on Apple's tax returns would mean lots of penalty revenue for the IRS, and they don't really have a history of tolerance or forgiveness.

Do you really believe the nonsense you post? Apple doesn't avoid paying taxes? BS. Like any good corporation, Apple does everything it can to avoid paying taxes and maximize profits. Yes, they may "legally" be paying all the taxes they owe, but that's becaus there are such massive and ridiculous loopholes in the tax code for corporations to exploit.
post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Do you really believe the nonsense you post? Apple doesn't avoid paying taxes? BS. Like any good corporation, Apple does everything it can to avoid paying taxes and maximize profits. Yes, they may "legally" be paying all the taxes they owe, but that's because there are such massive and ridiculous loopholes in the tax code for corporations to exploit.

I'm certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you don't know what the words "legal", "avoid", "ridiculous", and "exploit" mean.

This makes it difficult to agree with you.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #27 of 31

By some peoples logic, if I install some trial software on my laptop then click a link inside the app to pay for it, Microsoft should get 30% or some percentage. Yeah, right.

 

Also, the 30% only applies to digital goods.  Apple takes no cut from purchasing physicals good through an app.
 

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


Do you really believe the nonsense you post? Apple doesn't avoid paying taxes? BS. Like any good corporation, Apple does everything it can to avoid paying taxes and maximize profits. Yes, they may "legally" be paying all the taxes they owe, but that's becaus there are such massive and ridiculous loopholes in the tax code for corporations to exploit.

 

What other kinds of taxes do you pay besides the legal ones?  Religious ones?  Rainbow sunshine happiness taxes?  I think you might be confused and directing  outrage towards imaginary constructs.  Are there some other secret, special tax laws they should follow?

 

If Apple were to *avoid* taxes, they would quickly find themselves in deep trouble with the IRS.  They are just good at preparing their returns and being aware of all tax laws.  Are you mad at them (and possibly any random *corporation*) because they follow the law?  

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

 

Clearly they feel Apples tax rate of 30% is too high.  If they can claim the sale is via the internet and not Apple's ecosystem they just found a great way not to pay the Apple tax.  They benefit from Apples ecosystem and users and don't pay to support it.  Leave that to the suckers in the ecosystem.  Brilliant!

 

I also think this is quite a clever idea of circumventing the rules. Though it wouldn't surprise me if Apple thinks that is violating the spirit of the corresponding rule. And since there is no court which would have to decide on that, but just Apple itself, enforcing it is easy.

 

Quote:
Apple claims much of its IP is not generated in the US, but in Ireland.  Instead of paying the 35% tax rate in the US, by claiming the income is generated in Ireland rather than the US, they avoid the taxes in the US.  Never mind the expensive school systems they benefit from, or the incredible amount of taxpayer resources they use in tying up the legal system.  Let the suckers within the US pay for that and they can get the benefits for free.  Brilliant!

One reason why states have created tax systems that allow this is that generally both states (the seller's and the purchaser's country) would like to tax things. They thus compete and competition drives the prices down and a company will funnel its profits to the country which offers the lowest tax rate. This is a case where competition really is a race to the bottom.

 

And this question where things should be taxed has very ingrained positions that a compromise requires some real political will. In the US, both politicians the general population instinctively feel that all those profits Apple makes with its products are due to value added inside the US (ie, the design of hardware and software). Whereas in Europe, the general opinion is that it is Europeans which buy Apple's products, that Apple only makes money because the customers are buying their products and thus the profits should be taxed in Europe. 

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by QAMF View Post

And the vast majority of people who have the Kindle App, did not get it because of Apple.

I did. I did not buy any eBooks before I got my iPad. 

 

 

Quote:
They got it because they used Amazon, and they wanted to keep all there content from one provided.
Once more, doesn't make sense for Apple to take 30% from someone who they did not market the app for, that has their own transaction system that works just as well (on Kindle's and such)?  I take it you are fine with Amazon's email approach then, because it gives people the option to buy it later from Amazon, or buy it right away through the app (or does the app redirect to safari?  It was hard to tell)

 

Again the question is, did people start reading eBooks because Amazon was selling them or because somebody made a device that made reading eBooks enjoyable (as, eg, compared to reading them on a computer). Of course it takes both but one can ask which part needed more innovation and design effort and for which part there are lots of provides one could choose from. I'd say designing a large screen mobile device that has great capabilities that it sells in millions is the harder part.

post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

By some peoples logic, if I install some trial software on my laptop then click a link inside the app to pay for it, Microsoft should get 30% or some percentage. 

 

 

 

In principle yes, if you are willing to pay a higher price to use this app on Windows instead of another OS, then Microsoft has the 'pricing power' to run such a scheme. The problem is naturally that there isn't really an easy alternative to use the app on another OS, which would make Microsoft's 30% fee an exploitation of its monopolistic position (and it is not that Microsoft doesn't charge any developer fees, they get something from the third-party developers). 

 

The problem is that the difference between a 'pricing power' because one is producing a highly valuable product (eg, Windows or the iPhone) and an exploitation of a monopolistic position is not a very clear one.

 

 

 

Quote:
Also, the 30% only applies to digital goods.  Apple takes no cut from purchasing physicals good through an app.

 

And it only applies to goods that are consumed on the device, which I think is fair way of looking at things. The problem starts when the digital goods can be used both on the device and elsewhere. But again, the rule is simple here, if bought by means that required an iOS device (ie, through an app that runs on the device), Apple gets a cut. If bought through a web browser which does not require an iOS device, no percentage is paid. The problem is how do you treat the discovery process of finding a good one then buys through means that don't require an iOS device. Take Shazam, if you get the name of a song by using Shazam in a location where you wouldn't have been able to get it with a computer because using a computer would be unwieldy and then you buy the song, should Apple get a percentage? Apple's rule here is if pressing a button in the app directly starts a purchasing action, it has to be an in-app purchase which pays a percentage to Apple. 

 

Sending an email with a link is truly an edge case here.

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