Friday, February 4, 2011

Apple sets deadline for Amazon's Kindle app to change

Apple has now taken the next step in its attempt to enforce the app store policy of not allowing iOS apps to use content which was purchased from an outside source. It's announced that as of March 31st, all apps must make the content they use available for purchase from within the app itself — paying Apple the customary 30% which it receives from every app store transaction.

To illustrate what will be changing, we'll use Amazon's Kindle app for iPhone and iPad as an example: Prior to the change, Kindle customers could purchase their reading materials straight from the Amazon website, and then load and read them via the Kindle app on their iPhone or iPad.

Apple's problem with this setup seems to be that it isn't seeing a cut of the money; Amazon distributes the app for free and all transactions are made directly through Amazon. After March 31st, Kindle users will need to be able to purchase their reading material through the Kindle app itself, which means Apple will receive 30% of the revenue.

What happens next is anyone's guess. Amazon could comply with the decision, and either absorb the hit to its Kindle proceeds, jack up the price of app-purchased reading materials to offset Apple's cut, or simply call Apple's bluff and allow the app to remain the way it is. Whatever their decision, it's going to be an interesting and tense couple of months between Amazon and Apple.