ComiXology ceases iOS in-app purchases following Amazon acquisition

Posted:
in iPad edited April 2014
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.
«134567

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 129

    Talk about biting the hand that feeds.

     

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

  • Reply 2 of 129

    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.

  • Reply 3 of 129

    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. 

  • Reply 4 of 129
    Pretty sad no longer buy comics from this company
  • Reply 5 of 129
    Amazon has enough money so good luck
    I delete my app......
  • Reply 6 of 129
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,502member

    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.

  • Reply 7 of 129
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,594member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 129
    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."
  • Reply 9 of 129
    djkikromedjkikrome Posts: 189member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 129
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 374member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 129
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 374member
    freerange wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 129
    j1h15233j1h15233 Posts: 274member
    Hopefully Apple responds by adding more comics to the iBook store. I'll gladly switch over to that rather than using the Comixology apps
  • Reply 13 of 129
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 374member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 129
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 129
    wwchriswwchris Posts: 58member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 129

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

  • Reply 17 of 129
    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.

  • Reply 18 of 129
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 129
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    thetorrey wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 129
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    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.

Sign In or Register to comment.