Apple may have struck a blow to other ebook providers by blocking the Sony Reader iPhone and iPad app. Sony tells the New York Times that its app has been kept out of the store not because of breaking the rules but because Apple is demanding all in-app purchases go through Apple. Dive into the detail and that starts to sound troublesome for anyone trying to sell ebooks on iPhone or iPad, including the Amazon Kindle app…
The New York Times report says: “The company 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 last part is the most worrying element – Amazon Kindle books have only ever been available for purchase outside of the app but you have been able to access them from within it.
If Apple really does intend to put its foot down and ban content not purchased in the iTunes App Store from appearing in apps that would make the Kindle app and third-party magazine apps unworkable.
iBooks does not currently have as wide a selection of titles as Kindle and most iPhone and iPad owners who use Apple’s ebook offering also use Amazon’s. Could Apple really kick Amazon out? We hope not.