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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Apple had a June 30th deadline for vendors who sell on iOS. I don't want to rehash the details, but the bottom line was that potentially Amazon and B&N might have to give Apple a 30% cut of an ebook sale, something which was impossible to do and still make a profit. So the question was if Amazon was going to have to remove its app from iOS. It now looks like Apple has changed its mind:

But, as noted Thursday by MacRumors, the new App Store Review Guidelines unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference this week have removed the need for prices to be identical out of the App Store. Apple only requires that "there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content."

The change will likely mean that content providers like Amazon, which sells e-books through its online store for use in the Kindle application, will be unaffected by the previously-set June 30 deadline. Under Apple's previous rules, Amazon would have been forced to offer the option of purchasing content within the Kindle application at the same price, while paying Apple a 30 percent cut of the sale.
http://tinyurl.com/3svkweu

This is a good thing for those of us selling books and a good thing for consumers.
 

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Asher MacDonald said:
Apple had a June 30th deadline for vendors who sell on iOS. I don't want to rehash the details, but the bottom line was that potentially Amazon and B&N might have to give Apple a 30% cut of an ebook sale, something which was impossible to do and still make a profit. So the question was if Amazon was going to have to remove its app from iOS. It now looks like Apple has changed its mind:

http://tinyurl.com/3svkweu

This is a good thing for those of us selling books and a good thing for consumers.
A good thing??? Are you kidding??? I've been really worried about this. I figured that if Apple held their guns, we might see lower commissions on any sales made through their devices...this is really good news if they let this go.

Someone (or several someones) will be coming after the 70 percent authors make. It's only a matter of time, but the longer that holds off, the better.
 

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"Someone (or several someones) will be coming after the 70 percent authors make. It's only a matter of time, but the longer that holds off, the better."

Who? Apple pays authors in its own iBookstore 70%, and that's inline with the 30% take they want on all the other stuff sold through the iStores.
 

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I think sometimes Apple likes to test the waters with things like this, just to see how people will either accept or reject certain policies. This one seemed like it was obviously a horrible idea from the start -- at least from the ebook industry perspective -- and I'm glad they decided to change their position. Having the Kindle/Nook apps pulled from iOS devices would have really sucked.

Michael
 

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Asher MacDonald said:
Well, it was enough to force one company to go out of business.
A company which was overtly breaking existing rules. They were shoring up existing policies, not changing the game.

I mean I DO understand why people were fearful of this. Apple does change the game on a regular basis, and they do it fast and without warning sometimes. The problem was that people were reporting speculation as a fact. That speculation did not come from anything Apple actually said or did, just from the sort of thing they have done.

I agree with Michael that Apple sometimes floats their own rumors in order to test the waters... but they DID say that this was not going to be a change in policy. And the fact that they did what they said -- the ONLY thing they really said -- should not be an indication that they changed or "blinked." It's just an indication that the pundits got played for fools.

Camille
 

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Terrence OBrien said:
"Someone (or several someones) will be coming after the 70 percent authors make. It's only a matter of time, but the longer that holds off, the better."

Who? Apple pays authors in its own iBookstore authors 70%, and that's inline with the 30% take they want on all the other stuff sold through the iStores.
Well, when apple wanted (or still wants) Amazon to pay 30 percent of books bought through their devices, and Amazon only gets 30 percent (70 to the author) guess whose pocket will be picked if the rules do stick?

And don't think Apple will be the only one trying to add fees here and there. B&N only pays 65 percent now, Borders tried to pay less as well (although that whole thing was such a mess, I'm not even sure it counts.)

The point is: Where there is pie, people will want slices. Right now we have a wonderful part of that--but that won't stop entities from attempting to make a profit--and go after a slice!
 

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It should be noted that this article (and others like it) are not saying for sure that Amazon won't have to pay 30 percent for items sold via Apple items.  It is speculated that they won't.  The rule change is apparently only clear for subscriptions (at this time) from the way I've seen it in several articles.
 

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MariaESchneider said:
Well, when apple wanted (or still wants) Amazon to pay 30 percent of books bought through their devices, and Amazon only gets 30 percent (70 to the author) guess whose pocket will be picked if the rules do stick?

And don't think Apple will be the only one trying to add fees here and there. B&N only pays 65 percent now, Borders tried to pay less as well (although that whole thing was such a mess, I'm not even sure it counts.)

The point is: Where there is pie, people will want slices. Right now we have a wonderful part of that--but that won't stop entities from attempting to make a profit--and go after a slice!
The thing is, I don't think the big publishers would have gone for 40% on Kindle-for-Apple (since they already get 70% via iBookstore!). They would have told Amazon that it could not sell their books at that level of discount. So what Apple's measure would probably have done is forced Amazon to pull out of iOS sales *completely*. Which would have ticked off the tens of millions of folks reading Kindle books on iOS devices. Publishers - indies included - would still have gotten 70% on Apple (or 60%, if you're using Smashwords to get to the iBookstore instead of going direct), but Amazon ebook sales would have been hurt badly and Apple's rep would have been badly damaged with their customers as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
MariaESchneider said:
It should be noted that this article (and others like it) are not saying for sure that Amazon won't have to pay 30 percent for items sold via Apple items. It is speculated that they won't. The rule change is apparently only clear for subscriptions (at this time) from the way I've seen it in several articles.
What it means for Amazon is that they can keep their app on iOS, but they cannot have a buy button in the app. They may be able to have a "launch browser" button that goes direct to the Kindle store on Amazon.

What's nice for users is they get to continue to use the Kindle app for reading Kindle books on iOS.

I'm not on iOS so I don't know exactly how it works. Can you currently buy books through the Kindle app on iOS? If yes, that will probably change.
 

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I agree that people will want a "slice of the pie," but content is what is pushing Amazon's profit growth with e-books. Independents are supplying a lot of that content. Thirty-five percent is not enough for many independent writers to continue to plugging away. I think many new writers and some of the vets would cut down production or even cease writing altogether if the royalty rate is reduced.

I am not fully sure what happened with the tags, but Amazon's interest is in profits so I suspect that the lack of sales reported by so many independent authors (and that I suspect many kept quiet about) affected Amazon's bottom line. Hence the return of tags yesterday.

I don't think going after another "slice" is in the best interest of Amazon, Apple, B&N or any other distributor.
 

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daringnovelist said:
Which is what an Apple spokesperson said when this thing first broke. I told you it was a tempest in a teapot.

Camille
What?

An Apple spokesperson actually said this when this thing first broke (after Sony's app was rejected):

"We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase."

Note that Apple just changed their written policy on this issue. They blinked.
 

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daringnovelist said:
A company which was overtly breaking existing rules.
Are you talking about the company that felt it couldn't stay in business under Apple's written guidelines--the written guidelines Apple just changed? That makes this reversal of policy by Apple pretty relevant, doesn't it?
 

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MariaESchneider said:
The point is: Where there is pie, people will want slices. Right now we have a wonderful part of that--but that won't stop entities from attempting to make a profit--and go after a slice!
Moreso than Apple, I think the real threat to slice-taking comes from states and the fed.

CA is already attempting to force Amazon to pay sales taxes. If it even remotely works, other states will follow suit... as will the Fed.

Beware phrases like "net neutrality" and "increased regulation of the Internet," because regulation has costs... and that means taxes.

Which would be the quickest way to kill off the only part of the US economy that's even remotely healthy right now.
 

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'What it means for Amazon is that they can keep their app on iOS, but they cannot have a buy button in the app. They may be able to have a "launch browser" button that goes direct to the Kindle store on Amazon."

On an iPad this is trivial. They don't need anything in the app.

Both the Kindle app and the internet Amazon Kindle Store can be set up as icons right next to each other on the iPad desktop.

Moving from one to the other involves:
1. Press desktop button at bottom of iPad.
2. Tap desired icon. (Kindle app or Internet Kindle store.)

If a user can't figure out how to make the internet Kindle Store icon, he will probably just use the iBookStore. That icon is installed at the factory.
 

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Apple recently changed a few of the policies in the App Store T's & C's,

"Jordan Golson, MacRumors:

Apple has quietly changed its guidelines on the pricing of In-App Subscriptions on the App Store. There are no longer any requirements that a subscription be the "same price or less than it is offered outside the app". There are no longer any guidelines about price at all. Apple also removed the requirement that external subscriptions must be also offered as an in-app purchase."

http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/09/apple-reverses-course-on-in-app-subscriptions/

This is great news for the Amazon Kindle app.
 

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Les Turner said:
Apple recently changed a few of the policies in the App Store T's & C's,

"Jordan Golson, MacRumors:

Apple has quietly changed its guidelines on the pricing of In-App Subscriptions on the App Store. There are no longer any requirements that a subscription be the "same price or less than it is offered outside the app". There are no longer any guidelines about price at all. Apple also removed the requirement that external subscriptions must be also offered as an in-app purchase."

http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/09/apple-reverses-course-on-in-app-subscriptions/

This is great news for the Amazon Kindle app.
Guess Amazon and B&N put the squeeze on Apple. Good to see Steve Jobs lose for once.
 

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This is all in the context of the announcement of IOS5, iCloud, and Amazon's rumored tablet. The maneuvering between Apple and Amazon is larger than this policy. All this sounds like it will begin to play out in the fall. Until then, I wouldn't be awarding either of them points.
 

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And this is about the fifth thread about this today....
 
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