By February 10, 2011

Sony Reader app barred from App Store, Kindle lives on

kindle ipadDespite Amazon’s Kindle app being available on the App Store for quite some time, you’d think that Sony’s Reader app would also be given the green light. But you’d be wrong. Clearly, Sony didn’t read the Apple bible to app heaven closely enough as their app has been rejected on the terms that it features in-app purchases of books without passing through Apple’s own API for in-app purchases (which would crucially bypass Apple’s 30% cut in sales).

The condition that purchases must go through Apple has in fact been in the guidelines all along, but the Kindle app was allowed through -  it directs you to a mobile site in Safari instead. However, Apple also highlighted another term in the guidelines; you can’t sell goods and services outside of your app. Surely that means Amazon is infringing too, but no word from either Apple nor Amazon has been said about what to do about it.

Sony have already stated they promise to pursue “other avenues to bring the Reader experience to Apple mobile devices.” This will probably mean they’ll end up (reluctantly) giving Apple their 30% share of sales. But what will it mean for Amazon? Their app sells books outside of the Kindle application which technically is an infringement of the guidelines that should result in the boot from the App Store. Considering the size of Amazon and the number of iOS devices out there, that 30% is a big deal. Eventually, they’ll have to update their app to either cut Apple in or disable in-app purchasing altogether (though what will become of their “Buy Once, Read Anywhere” slogan?). Either way Apple wins – they either get their fair share or people will have to turn to their home-grown iBook store, but what would happen to your vast Kindle library that you used to read on your iDevice? Maybe paper books weren’t such a bad idea after all.


Posted by: Vince

Posted in: News

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