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ComiXology ceases iOS in-app purchases following Amazon acquisition

post #1 of 128
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After being bought by online retailer Amazon, digital comics platform ComiXology has discontinued its legacy iOS application and issued an entirely new release that lacks a digital storefront, allowing the company to avoid Apple's 30 percent cut of in-app purchases.


ComiXology has one of the top grossing iPad apps for years.


ComiXology sent out an email to customers on Saturday vaguely stating that a "new" application for iPhone and iPad has been released, while the old one is being retired. At no point does the email explain to users that the new version lacks a digital storefront, meaning users must access the Safari browser to purchase new titles.

As a carrot to entice users to switch over, the company has offered customers a $5 ComiXology gift card. Switching to the new application requires users to sync their in-app purchases in the legacy application, then installing the new option from the App Store and logging into their account.

The switch comes shortly after Amazon announced it had purchased ComiXology, which is responsible for the popular iPad and iPhone app named "comics." It has consistently ranked near the top of the iOS App Store's top grossing charts for iPad, while ComiXology is also responsible for the official iPad comic reading applications for major publishers Marvel, DC, Image, and more. Others, such as Dark Horse, have their own separate iOS applications and digital platforms.

As of Saturday, the applications for Marvel, DC and others remain untouched, and users can continue to purchase digital titles through the iOS apps. But those who upgrade to the new ComiXology must access the service's website to buy content.

That's the same approach Amazon uses with its Kindle platform, which lacks the ability to buy titles through the official Kindle app. Instead, users must visit Amazon in their browser to buy books, and those titles can then be downloaded and read through the official iOS app.



Amazon does this to bypass Apple's App Store rules, which guarantee the iPad maker a 30 percent cut of all content sold through downloadable applications. By forcing users to access a browser, Amazon can keep its percentage of sales without needing to pay 30 percent to Apple.
post #2 of 128

Talk about biting the hand that feeds.

 

Amazon's current bestseller: how to lose friends and alienate people.


Edited by Benjamin Frost - 4/26/14 at 4:28pm
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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post #3 of 128

Sunnuvabeeyotch. Well, I'll be buying fewer comics now. I get the vast majority of mine through iTunes cards.

 

(edit:) Just sent Comixology some polite feedback, letting them know that I will no longer be buying comics through them because of this decision. I know I'm just one itty-bitty little customer, but I have to wonder how many other people will take the same stance. Probably hardly any. Oh, well.


Edited by Dave MacLachlan - 4/26/14 at 4:24pm
post #4 of 128

Your final paragraph is incorrect. While you can browse the store from within the old app (which you can also do in the new app, but only using the Search function), you CANNOT make purchases any longer. You are limited to adding items to your Wish List for purchase on the web site, or downloading content previously purchased. 

post #5 of 128
Pretty sad no longer buy comics from this company
post #6 of 128
Amazon has enough money so good luck
I delete my app......
post #7 of 128

Amazon's stock took a bath on Friday, down $33+ [nearly 10%] by missing estimates, and with a P/E = 476.11 expect this bubble to burst in 2014.

post #8 of 128
And yet Apple gets sued for competing against Amazon in ebooks? Amazon is rapidly destroying the content industries by turning them into low cost commodities.
post #9 of 128
It's such a pain to use Kindle, so much easier just buying via the app like with iBooks. Not sure if I'll still be buying comics this way anymore. What upsets me is how the comics publishers will be affected with less sales. I am an avid fan of the comics medium and always wish DC (I am a FlashFan, after all), Marvel, et al the best, so I am hoping "All will be well."
post #10 of 128
I love how everyone wants to make money off apple devices but no one wants apple to see a dime either. And without apple, they would be making nothing. Apple made it possible, I see it only fair they get a percentage for making it all possible on their device.
post #11 of 128
Well that's it for them. Just bought 6 titles from them Green Arrow: Year One. Not going through this bs with Amazon. Not for comics. It's already a pain with Kindle for iPad. So long Comixology. Interesting to see how it goes from here on in for them. It is great destination to get all your titles from Marvel et al. Too bad.
post #12 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

And yet Apple gets sued for competing against Amazon in ebooks? Amazon is rapidly destroying the content industries by turning them into low cost commodities.
I totally agree with you. They are greedy and getting away with it. The Walmart of e-book industry.
post #13 of 128
Hopefully Apple responds by adding more comics to the iBook store. I'll gladly switch over to that rather than using the Comixology apps
post #14 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave MacLachlan View Post

Sunnuvabeeyotch. Well, I'll be buying fewer comics now. I get the vast majority of mine through iTunes cards.

(edit:) Just sent Comixology some polite feedback, letting them know that I will no longer be buying comics through them because of this decision. I know I'm just one itty-bitty little customer, but I have to wonder how many other people will take the same stance. Probably hardly any. Oh, well.
I'm with you on that one bro. I'll send them some feedback as well. Maybe enough of us can get them to put the consumer first for a damn change.
post #15 of 128

I'm real glad that AMZN took a big hit the other day.

 

They've been getting a free pass for far too long. Weak earnings after weak earnings, and yet Wall Street would keep rewarding them. Unbelievable.

post #16 of 128
I spend about $60 per month on comics and I did it soley for convenience reasons. I won't be doing it anymore. That sucks.
post #17 of 128

LOL! People's reactions aren't as hilarious as they were when Google bought Nest, but it's pretty close.

post #18 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by SalmanPak View Post
 

LOL! People's reactions aren't as hilarious as they were when Google bought Nest, but it's pretty close.

 

How are these reactions hilarious?   People using the ComiXology app for iOS are using it because they have an iOS device.  If they have an iOS device, it means they like Apple, or are happy with their Apple product.  So when Amazon takes a little swipe at Apple by removing the in-app purchase feature, thus removing Apple's 30%, it's understandable they would be unhappy.

 

I can understand that Amazon wants to try and make every penny they can, but they must not know the loyalty of an Apple customer.  I suspect they will know it soon.

post #19 of 128
I bought a lot of comics on Comixology so I thought I would try buying a comic under the new system. It's definitely not as convenient as the old system, but with the help of 1Password, it wasn't that painful. All I had to do was browse for comics within the app and add the one I wanted to my wishlist. Then, I logged into comixology.com from 1Password, accessed my wishlist and then autofilled my credit card details.

Yes, it's definitely a step back, but I don't think that Comixology users will abandon the platform en masse, especially if they're invested a lot in comics already.

If Amazon wants to provide their own payments infrastructure and sidestep Apple's, somewhat inconveniencing users, then that's their right. If it's the wrong decision, I'm sure they'll have the metrics from lost customers to make it obvious.

And, for the record, I do not agree with the ruling against Apple in the eBooks case, just in case you thought I was pro-Amazon.
post #20 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetorrey View Post

How are these reactions hilarious?   People using the ComiXology app for iOS are using it because they have an iOS device.  If they have an iOS device, it means they like Apple, or are happy with their Apple product.  So when Amazon takes a little swipe at Apple by removing the in-app purchase feature, thus removing Apple's 30%, it's understandable they would be unhappy.

I can understand that Amazon wants to try and make every penny they can, but they must not know the loyalty of an Apple customer.  I suspect they will know it soon.

I think most people will get their comics however they have to. They really don't care if Apple gets 30% cut.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #21 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


I think most people will get their comics however they have to. They really don't care if Apple gets 30% cut.

 

You're right, most people probably don't care about that, but I do think that they care about convenience.

 

If somebody can no longer purchase from within the app and somebody would now have to go to a website? That sounds real crappy, and they'll probably lose a lot of business.

post #22 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

You're right, most people probably don't care about that, but I do think that they care about convenience.

If somebody can no longer purchase from within the app and somebody would now have to go to a website? That sounds real crappy, and they'll probably lose a lot of business.

I think most people will abandon it simply because they think they can't buy the comics anymore. There's no explanation about how to buy them now, just the add to wish list button.
post #23 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

You're right, most people probably don't care about that, but I do think that they care about convenience.

If somebody can no longer purchase from within the app and somebody would now have to go to a website? That sounds real crappy, and they'll probably lose a lot of business.
my Nook app doesn't support IAP. Is that because B&N doesn't want to give Apple a 30% cut or because Apple doesn't allow IAP for that app?
post #24 of 128

Well Amazon's business model is about as sustainable as human beings' stewardship of Planet Earth.  They have a cult of investors who believed in the antigravity field, but eventually, these things come crashing down loudly.  This is the time when Amazon finally has to account for its business strategy of losing money.  Predatory pricing only gets you so far if you never raise prices enough to make a profit.

 

I feel badly for Amazon's investors but in a certain way, that's not the best part of me, I'm glad to see Amazon coming down.  It's just been so unfair, that a company that leeches money is put on a pedestal, when Apple, the most financially sound company in the world, gets disrespected.

 

Apple sneezes more cash than Amazon made in its heydey and now Amazon is just bleeding money.

post #25 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by djkikrome View Post

I love how everyone wants to make money off apple devices but no one wants apple to see a dime either. And without apple, they would be making nothing. Apple made it possible, I see it only fair they get a percentage for making it all possible on their device.

And here I was thinking Apple makes a huge profit on the sale of their ios devices. Do you also think Ford needs to gets cut of a sale when a real estate agent uses one of their cars?
post #26 of 128
Disappointed with Amazon !
post #27 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


And here I was thinking Apple makes a huge profit on the sale of their ios devices. Do you also think Ford needs to gets cut of a sale when a real estate agent uses one of their cars?

To me this it's more like promoting a show on Broadway with only a facade.  People can walk a little way in, get a taste of what the show is and pique their interest, maybe enough to decide to see it.  Then they need to leave that location, go to a theater off Broadway to where the rent is cheaper but still pay the Broadway rate in order to actually see the show.

 

It's the digital equivalent to the Gateway stores. You could go in, browse and even handle the merchandise but it had to be ordered and shipped, you couldn't leave with a purchase in hand.  People didn't really love that model either.

John
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John
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post #28 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

my Nook app doesn't support IAP. Is that because B&N doesn't want to give Apple a 30% cut or because Apple doesn't allow IAP for that app?

B&N doesn't want to give the 30%. They wouldn't profit if they did.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #29 of 128
Comixology already sucked.
post #30 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Gramze View Post

Comixology already sucked.

I've yet to find a single comics app that really works well on the iPad. The text is always a bit too small. It's one area where I feel a larger iPad would come into its own. Another couple of inches or so would make all the difference.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #31 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


And here I was thinking Apple makes a huge profit on the sale of their ios devices. Do you also think Ford needs to gets cut of a sale when a real estate agent uses one of their cars?

If that agent has their add on every ford made and uses ford and ford.com to sell their properties, then I would say YES!

Amazon isn't using an iPhone to call someone to sell them a comic so I think there is a difference here.  But since your argument and analogy is dumb, I would guess you think a toilet paper company owns your ass.

post #32 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by djkikrome View Post

If that agent has their add on every ford made and uses ford and ford.com to sell their properties, then I would say YES!
Amazon isn't using an iPhone to call someone to sell them a comic so I think there is a difference here.  But since your argument and analogy is dumb, I would guess you think a toilet paper company owns your ass.

Wow, congratulations on your well thought out comment.

Amazon has followed Apples rules for publishing an app, they have to reason to give Apple any money. If Apple thinks they need to then maybe they should change the rules for their store, and then watch the number of apps decrease.

As for your well thought out comment, the agent doesn't have their ad on all fords, just like Amazon doesn't have their app on all IOS devices
post #33 of 128
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post
Amazon has followed Apples rules for publishing an app, they have to reason to give Apple any money. If Apple thinks they need to then maybe they should change the rules for their store, and then watch the number of apps decrease.

 

Well, you don’t get it.

post #34 of 128

The thing about in-app purchase is that it enables impulse buys: the button can be right there in the app, instant gratification. If you have to leave the app and go in to a web browser you have more time to think about whether you really want it. So whether this will hurt them depends on whether most comics are bought as impulse buys or regular subscriptions to the same series.

 

I mean putting all that aside, surely Newsstand is the proper place for comics anyway.

post #35 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

And here I was thinking Apple makes a huge profit on the sale of their ios devices. Do you also think Ford needs to gets cut of a sale when a real estate agent uses one of their cars?
What a stupid comment.

The Walmart analogy I've used in the past is far more appropriate. Let's say I have a vending machine and I want to install it in a high traffic location to increase sales. I choose Walmart because they are always extremely busy. Do you think Walmart should let me place my machine in their store without getting a cut? I'm taking up a certain amount of square footage in their store, collecting money from customers who came to see Walmart (not my vending machine) and making a profit using the "assets" of a well established store.

IMO, Apple is too lenient. Apple has to host the App for Amazon, pay for all the server costs and bandwidth (including repeat downloads every time there's a patch or update), give Amazon access to their 800 million account holders (which is bigger than Amazons own customer base) and let users of the App buy stuff where Apple gets no money.
post #36 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


I think most people will get their comics however they have to. They really don't care if Apple gets 30% cut.


Actually, most people do care a bit, they're not happy with Apple for taking 30%.

 

And they shouldn't be, it's highway robbery.  Apple does literally nothing, and takes 30%.  I know many of you are complete Apple fanbois, but try to get some objective concept of what's going on here.  First Apple releases a closed platform that we have to hack to be able to run so we can run software on our own devices without Apple's approval.  Then Apple comes out with this app store where they demand a 30% profit for doing nothing but hosting the app - and unless you have jailbroken, there's no other way to get the app.  That's bad enough, but then Apple insists on taking a 30% cut of anything bought inside the app - even though there is no need for that to go through Apple at all. 

 

It's extortion.  "We've got all these customers locked up, they're ours, we own them.  You can't sell to them unless you pay us."

 

I'm not a big fan of Amazon, but at least they're refusing to pay Apple's extortion.  Every developer should.

post #37 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlashFan207 View Post

It's such a pain to use Kindle, so much easier just buying via the app like with iBooks. Not sure if I'll still be buying comics this way anymore. What upsets me is how the comics publishers will be affected with less sales. I am an avid fan of the comics medium and always wish DC (I am a FlashFan, after all), Marvel, et al the best, so I am hoping "All will be well."


And whose fault is it that you can't buy via the Kindle app?

 

I'll give you a hint, it's not Amazon, but it does start with an A.

post #38 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post


Actually, most people do care a bit, they're not happy with Apple for taking 30%.

And they shouldn't be, it's highway robbery.  Apple does literally nothing, and takes 30%.  I know many of you are complete Apple fanbois, but try to get some objective concept of what's going on here.  First Apple releases a closed platform that we have to hack to be able to run so we can run software on our own devices without Apple's approval.  Then Apple comes out with this app store where they demand a 30% profit for doing nothing but hosting the app - and unless you have jailbroken, there's no other way to get the app.  That's bad enough, but then Apple insists on taking a 30% cut of anything bought inside the app - even though there is no need for that to go through Apple at all. 

It's extortion.  "We've got all these customers locked up, they're ours, we own them.  You can't sell to them unless you pay us."

I'm not a big fan of Amazon, but at least they're refusing to pay Apple's extortion.  Every developer should.

I can understand for apps, because Apple does the storing, distribution, and handles the financial transaction, but if Amazon is handling the storage, and distribution then 30% is an exorbitant fee just for handling the transaction.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #39 of 128
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post

And they shouldn't be, it's highway robbery.  Apple does literally nothing, and takes 30%.

 

YEAH. NOTHING. You sure could have hosted that software for free on your own! You sure could have advertised that software for free on your own! You sure could have built a platform on which to install that software on your own!
 

How dense can you possibly be?

 

I know many of you are complete Apple fanbois…


Just shut up.

 
First Apple releases a closed platform that we have to hack to be able to run so we can run software on our own devices without Apple's approval.

 

You don’t comprehend the simplest relevant concept.

 
…even though there is no need for that to go through Apple at all. 

 

So put your app on Cydia and watch the 100% piracy rate. Or watch it get 1/1000th the exposure and purchases it would otherwise. Either way, stop whining about things you don’t understand.

 
It's extortion.

 

So sue. Good luck!

 

I'm not a big fan of Amazon, but at least they're refusing to pay Apple's extortion.  Every developer should.

 

Every developer is laughing at you.

post #40 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

What a stupid comment.

The Walmart analogy I've used in the past is far more appropriate. Let's say I have a vending machine and I want to install it in a high traffic location to increase sales. I choose Walmart because they are always extremely busy. Do you think Walmart should let me place my machine in their store without getting a cut? I'm taking up a certain amount of square footage in their store, collecting money from customers who came to see Walmart (not my vending machine) and making a profit using the "assets" of a well established store.

IMO, Apple is too lenient. Apple has to host the App for Amazon, pay for all the server costs and bandwidth (including repeat downloads every time there's a patch or update), give Amazon access to their 800 million account holders (which is bigger than Amazons own customer base) and let users of the App buy stuff where Apple gets no money.

Except that the actual contents of the vending machine are not in the store. You're paying for the product at Walmart but they're not the ones that deliver the product. It's more like Mastercard telling Walmart "your customers are using us to pay for products from you, so for that convenience we charge 30%". No store is going to agree with those terms.
Edited by dasanman69 - 4/27/14 at 9:00am
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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