Apple rejects Sony Reader, other reader apps at risk? | iLounge News


Apple rejects Sony Reader, other reader apps at risk?

Apple has rejected an iOS application that would have allowed users to buy and read e-books bought from the Sony Reader Store, according to a new report. Citing Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division, the New York Times reports that Apple told Sony that from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple. The report specifically states that not only can companies not sell content from other stores within their apps—a policy that has long been in place—but that users could not be allowed to access purchases made outside the App Store, a change that could result in the removal of Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook apps, among others. “It’s the opposite of what we wanted to bring to the market,” Haber said. “We always wanted to bring the content to as many devices as possible, not one device to one store.”

Update: Apple has provided clarification of its policy change to AllThingsD. “We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,” Apple spokesperson Trudy Miller told the publication. “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.” It is currently unknown whether Sony, Amazon, and other reader app developers will indeed update their applications to comply with the new requirement.

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I really hope this isn’t the case. The *only* thing that makes e-Readers attractive is the whole notion of ubiquitous compatibility. Which is why I have some Kindle books and no iBooks books at all. The day I pay money for an e-Book that only works on one brand of reader is the day somebody zaps me with a mind control ray.

Posted by Code Monkey on February 1, 2011 at 10:35 AM (CST)


This is very alarming if true, but the reporting of it seems poorly worded, with no real quotes or sources to back up the most contentious point. The closest they come is:
“Apple told Sony that from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple, said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division.”

Which is not news at all, and has been the policy all along, which is why you have to go to Amazon’s web site to buy Kindle books rather than doing it from within the app. The more contentious point: that even the current work-around employed by the Kindle would not be allowed, is not backed up at all, but just alluded to in the context of someday told us that somebody told them that…

Doesn’t mean it’s not true, but it’s odd that the only part of that article that comes close to resembling an actual quote is just restating an Apple policy that has been in affect for a while now.

Posted by Rob E. on February 1, 2011 at 10:55 AM (CST)


This isn’t the case which is pretty obvious.  Sony wanted their own app store within apples app store which apple doesn’t allow.  As long as they go to the internet to buy books from Sony, which is what Amazon does, its isn’t an issue.  But Sony went crying to the NYT because they wanted to be different from everyone else.

Posted by Darwin on February 1, 2011 at 11:55 AM (CST)


That is my suspicion/hope as well, Darwin, but do you have any references to back that up? The New York Times article explicitly states:
“The company[Apple] has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.”

The second part is the most alarming and represents the biggest departure from Apple’s current policy. I would hope that NYT wouldn’t make that statement without something to back it up, but they certainly didn’t back it up with the rest of the article, so hopefully it is just a misrepresentation of Apple’s current policy.

Posted by Rob E. on February 1, 2011 at 12:02 PM (CST)


We’ll know what the truth is soon enough. If the Kindle app remains for the next few weeks the real issue was wanting to allow IAPs in the app that don’t go through Apple’s servers and toll booth. If it disappears, well…

Posted by Code Monkey on February 1, 2011 at 12:10 PM (CST)


> The *only* thing that makes e-Readers attractive is the whole notion of ubiquitous compatibility.

1. Buy ADE DRM-ed eBooks

2. Go here:

3. Read epub-formatted books everywhere

Posted by Chris Parker on February 1, 2011 at 12:50 PM (CST)


I use iBook and Kindle apps, and like the option to have both.
I hope that Kindle updates and stays as I think it’s good competition and a good solution.
I hope this is not a case of Apple being grumpy because they feel they are missing out on revenue.

Form me the whole eReader situation is appalling though. I hate the fact that here in the UK I cannot get some books that are available in the US and other territories. I would have bought many more ebooks if this issue did not exist.

But before anyone says anything, I would not use illegal/pirated copies as I don’t agree with this practice.
I’ll wait for the industry to sort itself out and follow the lead set by film/tv distributors.

Posted by Cyberman on February 1, 2011 at 3:41 PM (CST)


The “clarification” seems almost as dim and illogical as the original spin.

If the clarification is truly a clarification, then it means we won’t be prevented from loading Kindle books purchased elsewhere, but either the iOS Kindle app has to do away with any integrated purchasing at all or include the option of buying through the Apple servers… So, barring the whole overcomplicated mess of Apple having to work with Amazon’s authorization servers (wonder how the two companies settle that territorial proprietary mess?), what’s to stop Amazon et al from just giving the middle finger to Apple Inc. by providing two buy links, one that launches the web based store like they have now, and one that lets you buy from Apple… with a 30% surcharge included?

Is Apple, who spent years unconvincingly trying to get us to believe they don’t make that much off of iTunes really willing to go this far to squeeze a little revenue out of the very content suppliers that make their very lucrative hardware so attractive in the first place?

Posted by Code Monkey on February 1, 2011 at 5:21 PM (CST)


Huh. I was actually going to sell my Kindle to someone and use the proceeds to (re-)buy an iPad. This…makes me rather nervous to do so.

Personally, if Apple demands that Amazon bow to this, I offer this suggestion: Implement in-app purchasing. And make all the in-app prices 30% higher than normal. Add a little note saying “You’ll save money buying books directly through Amazon, but Apple made us include this. Be sure to send them a friendly note of appreciation.”

I love Apple, but this is a major short-for-Richard move.

...and as I write this, I see Code Monkey had the same thoughts. Huh…great minds!

Posted by Daniel S. on February 1, 2011 at 6:14 PM (CST)

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