Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Apple To Take Back AppleWorld ?
Yesterday Apple, as it often does, threw what some though was a ticking bomb into the ebook world. The company has told 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 problem with Apple is that it controls its app world with an iron fist and as already documented is capable of changing the rules as it sees fit and with no recall and then changing them back just as quickly as it did last years on its stance on developer tools.
But before we look at some of the responses we are always reminded of that now infamous Steve Jobs quote he made in 2008, on commenting on the Kindle where he said, "It doesn't matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don't read anymore... The whole concept is flawed at the top because people don't read anymore.”
We are all realising that the power is in the access and interoperability, not in closed worlds. Kindle is making its device successful despite the iPad, because consumers recognise that Amazon is a platform and that its device is independent and the Kindle device is a bonus but not a nessessity. Couple this with a ‘cloud’ approach and we start to see a significant game change where the likes of Amazon, Google and Kobo benefit and the likes of Sony and Apple don’t. The money is in the eyeballs and content not in the tin.
Ars Technica in their report quotes Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller,'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.'
They continue to point out that ‘If an app lets users access content that they purchased via Amazon's website, for example, then that same app must also let users buy the same book via Apple's own in-app purchase system. If the app developer doesn't want to use Apple's in-app purchases to sell content, then the app can't access content purchased elsewhere either.’
‘This is notable because it will require Amazon and Barnes & Noble (as well as Sony, whose iOS app is not yet available) to change how their offerings work. Apple wants its 30 percent share of content sales whenever possible.’
How would the move effect Amazon.com? They offer free mobile apps specifically to give customers the ability to read their e-book purchases on all devices allowing an iPad owner to still to buy and read Kindle books bought from Amazon on their iPad. How would effect any exclusive Kindle Editions or where a publisher doesn’t have a contract with Apple for a title?
In his blog Terry Jones (no not friendly Python) wrote how Apple's actions reminded him of Microsoft with the browser and the OS. He posses the thought, ‘Imagine Apple claiming that such a separation is technically impossible and that the App Store is fundamental to the iPhone experience.'
To us we see Apple as having a habit of firing shots and thinking later and tend to do this most in the App Store and with developers. Apple is never going to be the ebookstore leader but they can’t afford just to be demoted to tin provider
So the big line up:
Google growing multi platform with Android and opportunity to bury stuff in firmware (information content hungry and advertising driven)
Amazon the ‘online WalMart’ who have a books vertical, brand and loyalty that is proven by current Kindle sales (despite the iPad) but must counter their Amazon only world by offering all platforms
Apple has great tin, innovation and music business, but no book understanding.
Abobe still trying to control the content and design of content with CS6 and ACS4
Sony – lost souls who stumble along
And the pretenders who are very reliant on the big boys to allow them to play or simply follow