Apple denies claim that Sony Reader, Kindle in danger on iOS App Store

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  • Reply 101 of 398
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,254member
    Just wait until the near field communications chip allows apple to take a cut of every transaction you ever make.
  • Reply 102 of 398
    archosarchos Posts: 152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fireball1244 View Post


    Apple taking 30% out of Amazon's sale price would render a large percentage of books unprofitable for Amazon -- between Apple and the rights holder, Amazon would be left with no revenue for themselves.



    When did it become fashionable to pity Amazon as the poor, downtrodden profiteer? How ridiculous.



    Do you think every item Apple sells in its own retail stores makes the same profit as the stuff it sells direct on its website after factoring in mall rent and property overhead and Genius Bar salaries?



    Does Hershey lose money on the candy it sells at WalMart, simply because its priced less than at convenience stores? What about every other retailer who sells at big box retail outlets (including Apple) - does the profit margins taken by BestBuy and Target make iPods cost more than when Apple sells them direct?



    You are so hopelessly naive that its painful to read your ideological nonsense.





    Quote:

    Amazon not having an app makes the iPad a less attractive device. This Apple policy would, in effect, remove a function I use my iPad for -- reading books from the far-superior Kindle store in the far-superior Kindle software. iBooks is a pale substitute.



    The only one talking about Amazon's app going away are the sensationalist writers of the NYT who were rushing to print a one-sided PR move by Sony to avoid paying Apple rent for their iTunes app. If Sony wants to go solo then they can. iTunes isn't a monopoly and none exists. Sony sells its own Readers and smartphones, and there's more Android phones than iPhones in the world.



    I don't think either Sony or Amazon will be taking a stand against the iOS though. they need it, they just don't want to pay so Sony is making a public plea for pity and people like you are picking up the pity torch for Amazon, which hasn't even commented on the situation. Absurd.





    Quote:

    Apple benefits from having software on the iOS store. Apple needs those apps as a marketing tool. Apps like Kindle provide real value to users and make Apple's product more attractive, which improves sales.



    Tell mall owners to give Apple free rent because its retail stores are benefitting the traffic going to their malls! Oh wait, that's not how the world works, is it?







    Quote:

    Apple has a right to set rules. But this rule will hurt consumers who will see their options diminish and the best option for ebooks, Amazon, likely go away.



    "Likely" only in the minds of neanderthal ideological nut jobs with little connection to reality.
  • Reply 103 of 398
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xsu View Post


    If you use Safari, you weren't using the trading platform. and Amazon/B&N/Sony aren't asked to pay 30% in that case, are they?



    So why force them to implement in app purchases?
  • Reply 104 of 398
    archosarchos Posts: 152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dunks View Post


    Just wait until the near field communications chip allows apple to take a cut of every transaction you ever make.



    You mean, like Visa and MasterCard have since the 70s?



    Oh the outrage!!!!! Apple shouldn't profit ;((((( Waaa.
  • Reply 105 of 398
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,854member
    I have mixed feelings on this issue, given my current understanding of the situation.



    On the one hand, I can understand a few goals here for Apple. Clearly, they want to create a user experience on iOS that is consistent across apps. They also want to avoid possible consumer fraud that can result from users being forced to websites to purchase in-app content, or situations where the in-app purchase doesn't go through iTunes. Yes, the website option may be available, but most users will simply use the in-app option, which ought to give them confidence that fraud will not result from the transaction. (Ought to, thus, 3rd-party in-app purchases ought to be disallowed.) I think, generally, that is, not limited to eBooks, this is an excellent policy that Apple ought to enforce rigorously. And perhaps the problem, really, is the previously lax enforcement.



    It's also not totally unreasonable for Apple not to allow Sony, Amazon, et al. to get a free ride on iOS while they use it to promote their in some ways competing platforms. Perhaps there should be a cost for them to do business in the ecosystem. (And the "ecosystems" of the various companies and products involved are not simple and straightforward. There's much competitive overlap, with companies selling books, "tablets", services, etc.) After all, Apple is completely locked out of the other companies' ecosystems, and, to some extent, they are all trying to use iOS to promote their own eBook platforms. It simply doesn't seem reasonable that Apple should have to cooperate by allowing them to do whatever they want.





    On the other hand, from the consumer perspective, I wouldn't be happy about having this result in higher costs for books. (Although, I don't currently buy iBooks (only read free ones) and don't intend to until there is some wort of industry standard DRM that allows me to use them with any reader of my choice, which may be never.) Also, again as the hypothetical consumer, I wouldn't be happy if this caused my eBook provider to drop support for iOS, restricting my options for reading my content.





    As for the companies affected, I don't have a lot of sympathy for them. You want to ride on the iOS bandwagon and profit from it, you play by the rules, whether you like them or not. And that goes for other developers, too, who may be outside the eBook industry, including one extremely vocal developer who has been posting relentlessly on this topic. iOS isn't a charity, and the rules aren't the same as for traditional consumer OSs, and Apple ought not be required to promote leech commerce through its App Store.
  • Reply 106 of 398
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xsu View Post


    If you use Safari, you weren't using the trading platform. and Amazon/B&N/Sony aren't asked to pay 30% in that case, are they?



    You're correct, however now Apple is saying that if you're going to use that approach, you now must *also* include the in-app purchase option as well, and pay Apple's 30% in the process.



    So basically, no matter what kind of service you have, Apple must now be allowed to take 30% of any transaction that takes place. This pretty much means Apple is now a partner in nearly every service or subscription based product that wants to do business on iOS.



    Apple wasn't content being just the platform that everyone turns to. They weren't content with providing an option for people on how to purchase or subscribe to content on that platform. Now they want a piece of your business, no matter what it may be.



    Where is it going to end? Does Netflix now have to include an option that allows Apple to take 30% of its subscriptions, even though Apple has *zero* to do with the service or the servers and network that the content is transfered from?
  • Reply 107 of 398
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChronoFlare View Post


    I agree. If Amazon sells 1 million $10 books through Apple's channels, Apple just made $3 million. Multiply that by millions more and Apple gets to rake in some serious cash. I don't think if costs quite that much for Apple to maintain the overhead that the Kindle app creates on the App Store.



    Apple really wants to profit off of this, and hey, that's business. But for people to use the overhead argument is mostly nonsense.



    Overhead works for everyone on the App Store - the devs selling stuff for free or .99 and those selling for more. Every bit of code has to be reviewed approved/rejected, hosted and the entire ecosystem maintained as it grows. If they are running a distributed services system then they have multiple sites for servers, costs for those data centers, staffing for those data centers, and so on. For the App Store to deliver the way it does there is a lot of infrastructure that needs to be there to support it. So yeah, overhead does matter. Millions of dollars are needed to maintain services like this, so making millions has to scale into this as well. You haven't demonstrated you actually understand the cost of service delivery in this kind of model.
  • Reply 108 of 398
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Its not that simple. Its also a breach in security.



    If Apple allowed 3rd party developers to build their own purchasing stores. It allows nefarious software developers free reign to cause mischief and grief.



    To avoid all of that its better for Apple to handle the money transaction.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post


    Users wouldn't have to be redirected to a web page if Apple simply allowed transactions to take place inside the app itself. They don't want you to use your own system - they want you to use their system. Why? Because Apple gets its 30% if you do.



  • Reply 109 of 398
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    This is completely false.



    If you purchase your book directly from Amazon, Apple does not get the 30%.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post


    You're correct, however now Apple is saying that if you're going to use that approach, you now must *also* include the in-app purchase option as well, and pay Apple's 30% in the process.



    So basically, no matter what kind of service you have, Apple must now be allowed to take 30% of any transaction that takes place. This pretty much means Apple is now a partner in nearly every service or subscription based product that wants to do business on iOS.



  • Reply 110 of 398
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fireball1244 View Post




    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?




    When you buy a book through the in-app purchase, that is Apple that is processing the order, is it not?



    If we want our product in Amazon, they want 50% off our price in order to have enough margin.



    Also, we pay website owners 50% commission for sales that they send us. By your definition, they are doing nothing. The site owners just display a link to our site or one of our banners. We process the sale and do the fulfillment.



    We plan to get our products in the App store, and paying *only* 30% for in-app purchases made is very appealing to us.



    While some are amazed that we pay a 50% commission, I know that for many sites, that the costs associated with making the sale can be almost what we pay them, or higher.
  • Reply 111 of 398
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    This is completely false.



    If you purchase your book directly from Amazon, Apple does not get the 30%.



    Agreed. But you can bet your arse that Apple will not let the seller offer a discount for avoiding iTunes.



    In practical terms, Apple gets their cut.
  • Reply 112 of 398
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LewysBlackmore View Post


    Overhead works for everyone on the App Store - the devs selling stuff for free or .99 and those selling for more. Every bit of code has to be reviewed approved/rejected, hosted and the entire ecosystem maintained as it grows. If they are running a distributed services system then they have multiple sites for servers, costs for those data centers, staffing for those data centers, and so on. For the App Store to deliver the way it does there is a lot of infrastructure that needs to be there to support it. So yeah, overhead does matter. Millions of dollars are needed to maintain services like this, so making millions has to scale into this as well. You haven't demonstrated you actually understand the cost of service delivery in this kind of model.



    I just don't think that it costs them that much for Amazon's app alone. For everyone's apps yes, we are talking millions upon millions of dollars, but not just Amazon alone. If they were delivering the actual content (in this case the ebooks themselves) that would be different, but that's not the case as far as I can tell.



    There is no way that the process of distributing the Kindle app costs Apple as much as 30% of every book that is sold in the Kindle store through iOS, unless the books themselves were being directly distributed through Apple's channels. Which raises a valid question to which I don't know the answer: if Amazon sells books in the app itself, is the content delivered through Amazon or Apple?



    Amazon shouldn't have to foot the bill for all of the devs that are selling cheap/free apps.
  • Reply 113 of 398
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fireball1244 View Post


    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.





    You seem to think it's all about the money, but it's most assuredly not. Why do so many people love Apple? I can tell you it's the user experience. It's what every device they make speaks to and illustrates as in - "you already know how to use it"



    What can potentially poison that experience? A different purchase scenario in every different App offered on the App store. Providing a consistent, predictable-every-time process for purchases within all Apps just makes sense.



    All they are doing is ensuring that all Apps that offer content ALSO offer the same content inline through the same process as everyone else.



    As for those worried about Amazon and Sony trying to undercut in-App pricing, these things have a way of sorting themselves out, and indeed, Apple may need to look at their margins for publications and reduce them accordingly, though i still think there is enough margin for Amazon and Sony to sell effectively and profitably through the App store.
  • Reply 114 of 398
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post


    You're correct, however now Apple is saying that if you're going to use that approach, you now must *also* include the in-app purchase option as well, and pay Apple's 30% in the process.



    So basically, no matter what kind of service you have, Apple must now be allowed to take 30% of any transaction that takes place. This pretty much means Apple is now a partner in nearly every service or subscription based product that wants to do business on iOS.



    Apple wasn't content being just the platform that everyone turns to. They weren't content with providing an option for people on how to purchase or subscribe to content on that platform. Now they want a piece of your business, no matter what it may be.



    Where is it going to end? Does Netflix now have to include an option that allows Apple to take 30% of its subscriptions, even though Apple has *zero* to do with the service or the servers and network that the content is transfered from?





    So now providing the choice of using a payment method is equivalent to REQUIRING you to use it? If you feel so strongly about not giving Apple 30%, then just choose to use the outof-app payment method when facing the choice.



    And you said it yourself Apple's App store is the platform that everyone turns to. But they should just provide it for free? That businesses that benefit from apple's platform shouldn't pay for using that platform?



    Your logic, or lack thereof, is astounding.
  • Reply 115 of 398
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    I don't know the rules on undercutting iTunes. I hadn't seen anything specific. Apple cannot dictate the price that Amazon wants to sell its own books.



    You guys need to carefully look at Apple's quarterly financials. Look at how much money they make from software. Its next to nothing.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djsherly View Post


    Agreed. But you can bet your arse that Apple will not let the seller offer a discount for avoiding iTunes.



    In practical terms, Apple gets their cut.



  • Reply 116 of 398
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xsu


    That businesses that benefit from apple's platform shouldn't pay for using that platform?



    Your logic, or lack thereof, is astounding.



    And they pay their developer license.



    Should Hulu, Best Buy, Lufthansa and all the other businesess pay 30% to Apple?
  • Reply 117 of 398
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djsherly View Post


    Agreed. But you can bet your arse that Apple will not let the seller offer a discount for avoiding iTunes.



    In practical terms, Apple gets their cut.



    If they are using apple to get customers then apple should get a cut. Otherwise they are free to develop their own app store and charge what they want.
  • Reply 118 of 398
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    If they are using apple to get customers then apple should get a cut. Otherwise they are free to develop their own app store and charge what they want.



  • Reply 119 of 398
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jpellino View Post


    Is Amazon's Kindle margin so tight that Apple will eat it up?



    30% plus overhead, yep. Amazon could raise prices or pull out.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xsu View Post


    if Apple decide to sell iTune content through Amazon store, would not Amazon demand a cut of the proceed, 6-25% as stated by Amazon's policy? [...] So what's so surprising about Apple demanding sellers in its market not circumventing their policy?



    First, Amazon would not allow Apple to sell its competing services (e.g. digital books or digital music) through their store. Second, if Amazon demanded their standard cut in such a scenario, it would make it unprofitable for Apple to do so (and they wouldn't). When you're dealing with third-party content which you are already selling at a personal cut you have to completely remake your business model in order to participate in another layer (i.e. a third party selling a third-party's content through another party's service). Margins in digital music and digital books don't allow for this with these kind of cuts.



    Anyway, back to your point. The disgrace here is that this that any strategic value behind a move like this would have to be great to warrant making a decision which is terrible for so many Apple customers. The only way I can even begin to wrap my head around why Apple would be consider this is if this was a huge hangup in negotiation for magazine subscriptions. Aside from this, it diminishes the value of the platform to users, comes across as anti-competitive while generating bad PR, and doesn't really bring in a worthwhile revenue increase (relative to their currently existing coffers). Normally a company would make special arrangements in cases like this to come up with a solution which is viable to both parties.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Archos View Post


    Amazon is extorting rather high margins from the writers whose work it sells. So from your perspective, Amazon should get all this profit just because it is applying a brand name and DRM? Why shouldn't Apple take a cut for doing all the retailing heavy lifting for in-app purchases made through iTunes?



    It's ridiculous to suggest that Amazon has some right to profit from all the stuff being sold through iTunes. If Amazon created a store within a store inside Border's books, should Borders hand all the profits to Amazon? Does Apple earn all the profits from Macs sold through Best Buy?



    Your position is absolutely ridiculous.



    Pretty nice closing there. Your position is reasonable but limited in scope, and smacks of someone who is far more concerned with the company they support rather than care for the platform they enjoy.



    Amazon's in-app sales do not generate any liability on Apple Inc. Being able to read Kindle in iOS is a feature and benefit to the platform, given that most avid digital readers have libraries based around Amazon and the Kindle. Apple's position?assuming we're getting all the details; they haven't moved against existing distributors yet?does not, at face value, make good business sense. If their motivation is profit (my consideration in the reply above aside) they are clearly doing so at considerable expense to their platform and their users, and we, as those users, have every right to be discouraged by this.
  • Reply 120 of 398
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Do you feel its fair for Amazon and B&N to directly profit from the App Store while contributing nothing back to the App Store?



    By your logic, there should also be a 30% charge for any purchases made using the Ebay app.
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