Free email newsletter: “ News


Are Amazon and Apple playing chicken regarding in-app purchasing?

Marco Arment speculates that Apple and Amazon might be locked in a power play regarding Apple’s in-app purchase requirement. Currently, Amazon is still not adhering to this requirement (whose deadline is June 30th, 2011).
A lot of people use the Kindle iOS app. Imagine if Apple pulls it from the App Store, and Amazon inconveniently launches a $199 iPad alternative that includes it and more.

In the long run, it would probably be great for Apple: iBooks would become the only widely used commercial-ebook reader on the platform, and iOS devices have such a massive installed base that being the exclusive vendor would give Apple a huge advantage when negotiating with publishers to be in the iBookstore. Amazon knows this.

But it would cause a pretty big short-term headache for Apple that, if there’s a new and very inexpensive tablet alternative from Amazon, could pose a credible (although almost certainly not fatal) threat to the iPad’s marketshare. And Apple knows this.

I suspect the Kindle app will continue being mysteriously and indefinitely exempted from the in-app-purchase rules.
It is a curious situation:
  • Not being locked into a single hardware platform is a big selling point for Kindle content. If it wasn’t available on iOS, it would decrease its appeal.
  • On the other hand, as soon as you own Kindle content, you depend on your device supporting it. And iOS would be less attractive to you without the Kindle app.
Related posts:
  1. Amazon as a competitor to Google and Apple
  2. Apple changes in-app purchase policies: an analysis

No comments: