History: A while ago Apple changed their App Store terms of service in order to force their 30 percent cut for not only applications bought through their store, but for everything bought through an application available in the App Store. As a direct result, Apple is forcing every eBook store including Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Kobo reader, etc to pay an initial 30 percent cut for every sale generated, just for the honor of being published in heir app store basically killing the market. Why? Because nobody has enough margins selling book to pay 30 percent to Apple and still making any profit.
The anti-competitiveness of this measure is appalling especially in a business where Apple is already a competitor. Not only an eReader app is not allowed to include a market, but apparently instructions of how to download books or links to the company’s store are also prohibited. You’ll still be able to buy books from your PC or other means, and your account will synchronize purchased content, but that’s about it. The only app still able to sell eBooks is, you guessed, Apple’s own iBooks.
Amazon and Kobo already updated their applications to comply with Apple’s requests with Barnes & Noble to follow soon. The Wall Street Journal is also affected and will issue an app update to remove their links soon. Google Books completely disappeared from the app store last weekend, no word on why. Maybe Google just didn’t want to budge. If this is the case, kudos to them. Apple’s tactics of closing their platform are getting more ridiculous each passing day. Unfortunately nobody will stop using / purchasing Apple’s products and that includes me, but I wholeheartedly recommend to jailbreak your Apple iOS devices and open them this way. Maybe if enough people are doing it, we’ll get a secondary market of legal applications (supported by the big companies). Or full versions of the popular readers on Cydia, market included. One can only hope. That being said, check our iOS jailbreaking section. We try to do our part! Or, as a quick and dirty fix, navigate using Safari to Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Kobo, etc eBook store and add the link to your iOS Home Screen, ideally right next to your eReader app . Have instant access to any eBook store on your own terms.
One last thing to add: For those that will ask how come Kindle doesn’t allow you to buy Kobo books or from iTunes, I’ll say this: Kindle is not designed to run 3rd party apps. iPhone / iPad are. Apple just artificially limits their usability to push their own platform. And this is just one of the first steps. You won’t be able to rent / buy movies unless you are using iTunes, whenever the time comes, you won’t be able to process electronic payments using your iDevice unless Apple gets a piece, etc. I love my iPad 2 but Android will eventually catch up in terms of optimized applications available and at that point there will be no turning back.
Shame on you Apple!