We submitted the original version to Apple with a fully functioning store built into it—and were then stuck in submission limbo. Two weeks later, Apple announces their intent to build in-app purchasing.
The kicker: Apple wanted a 30% cut of every book sold on the store …and at the same time, had negotiated with book publishers that the publishers MUST sell all books at a 30% margin on ALL stores if they want to sell their books via Apple's own ebook store.
Aka we couldn't sell books at an increased cost, even if we wanted to. We would have had to take a loss on every purchase.
In the end, we had to remove all of the store functionality from the app, and weren't even allowed to link people directly to the web store for purchasing (or even instructions for purchasing).
Apple wouldn't approve our app until we blocked the Kindle Store button from loading on the Kindle Cloud Reader website. It never occurred to me that Apple would try to exercise control over how third-party websites are rendered inside webviews, but it turns out they do.
Wow. I'm not sure why this isn't all over the tech press. Apple forcing developers to modify third party websites is way, way over the line of what I would call ethical.
I'm generally an Apple fan, but this is nothing more than unrestrained corporate greed.
Apple even went as far as making some Steve Jobsian rule that you had to sell your book for the same price on the web as you did in-app. So you couldn't make up for the 30% cut. That was a pure bad-faith move and Apple only recently rescinded that requirement.
He was very confused when it disappeared. I imagine most users feel this way. I had to coach my mom to sign up for Pandora on the website so she saved a couple bucks a month, and it was baffling to her why it costed more in the app.
This is confusing for users.
people bought apple hardware and the operating system, not voted them the unilateral governing body on consumer choice in that platform. one should not be taken to imply the other.
Apple's a perfect example of this: they have a long history of making high-quality hardware products loved by consumers at an immense scale with high margins. In a more rational world, that would be "enough", and even if their revenue fluctuated somewhat from year to year, they could still easily support their activities and pay out generous dividends while focusing only on their core competency.
Instead we live in a world where a small drop in demand for a single product based on extrinsic market forces leads to a slew of articles heralding an "end of Apple". So they prioritize service revenue, and continue to squeeze more and more value out of every revenue stream which flows through their products.
It's insane that this is seen as necessary for a company which basically prints money, and sits inside a massive moat of wealth greater than the GDP of many nations.
Then on the payment page:
- Spotify fee: $9.99.
- Apple's cut: $3.33. (When purchased through the app, save online).
- Total: $13.32 > [Purchase Button]
To get $9.99 (for the first year at the 30% rate) it'd be
Spotify fee: $9.99
Apple fee: $4.28
When they were charging $12.99 on iOS Spotify was only taking home $9.09 and Apple getting $3.87.
Really goes to show the insanity. Apple probably made more from a Spotify user than an Apple music user. (Of course, they're happy to have an Apple music user for the increased lock in.)
(But as others point out, Spotify showing this almost certainly wouldn't be permitted by Apple).
You put a walled garden... in another walled garden.
On a more serious note: I get it; among Apple users are the most happily paying people that you can find on this planet and if you have a product you want to make it available to them.
No wonder they think it their right to take a massive 30% cut.
In the case of e-ink kindles it's sort of the same problem, but the kindle app is available on many platforms so it reduces the harm by a lot.
The disagreement spilled into public view last month when Amazon tried to dissuade its customers from buying Hachette titles on its website, removing discounts from some books or delaying shipments by as much as five weeks when items typically ship within three to five days. By refusing to buckle under the pressure, Hachette is leading the charge for publishers' fight against Amazon.
Besides, how far will a book publisher get if they can’t sell on Amazon.
Also screw a lot of those publishers. They were demanding control over the price amazon sells at, which should be none of their business. Lawmakers need to fix the first sale doctrine for digital goods.
> Besides, how far will a book publisher get if they can’t sell on Amazon.
If they can't sell on kindle they should be fine.
So you don’t care about publishers of physical books who according to one of the articles actually go negative because of the “Amazon tax” but you do care about software developers who can’t sell loot boxes without a 30% cut going to Apple
What do you think is Amazon’s motive for selling Kindle books below cost if it isn’t to kill competition just to raise prices later?
> Apps and their metadata may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.
<add it to your wish list!>
button it is so that Apple won't fall on you like a ton of bricks for suggesting I can buy things outside their store.
p.s. Do you know how I would go about recommending someone add the ability to have green or amber text on the black background?
Unfortunately we cannot build a similar tool for Android, as Amazon blocks the Kindle Cloud Reader on all Android devices (including the Kindle Fire).
If you're on Android:
1. go to Settings -> Info -> About
2. Draw a lowercase h on the screen (anywhere), and you'll see a "special color mode enabled", and should get amber on black. another letter gives you green on black, but I forget which :( . There's a bunch of hidden color combinations there :)
I'm not sure that exists on iOS, though
For requesting it: help & feedback -> contact us -> give feedback is your best bet. I'm out of touch w/ the Kindle team, but at least several years ago many of the devs would obsessively read customer feedback (that wasn't deemed sensitive/PII)
Any idea some where to to find the other hidden combinations ?
I suspect we (Kindle) we're either the trigger for the in-app purchasing store, or really accelerated plans around it.
Or is the rule that the physical good can't be accompanied by anything beyond the physical object itself? If that's the case, then is Amazon not allowed to sell items via its iOS app if those items come with warranties?
Or what about video games? If Amazon is allowed to sell physical copies of them, then can Spotify go full-AOL-mode and send a CD with a Spotify installer on it every month?
If you want a better answer, if a large percent of amazon app purchases became physical objects tied to upgrades you can use on your iPhone, then they would also get the hammer.
Precedent doesn't matter here, the rules will adapt to whatever is needed to require that 30% cut. (Unless Apple changes their mind first.)
More importantly: the more Apple tries to react to these tactics, the more evidence in favor of Spotify's case. It's a classic case of squeezing sand so hard that it slips through your fingers.
Okay, you forced them into having a rule about an exceptionally niche category of physical goods. They already ban the sale of firearms, so this isn't even new. It causes them no problems.
> More importantly: the more Apple tries to react to these tactics, the more evidence in favor of Spotify's case. It's a classic case of squeezing sand so hard that it slips through your fingers.
Not when they're so obviously looking for a loophole. It would hurt Spotify's reputation more than Apple.
Even if we wanted to stick to a narrow category of "subscription to a service that entails shipping physical media devices on a subscription", there are other apps in that category (though I don't know if they do let you actually sign up via the app): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dvd-netflix/id1169772776
Spotify could do something similar and pivot into the music rental business, kinda like an inverse Netflix. Whether that'd actually be better than just paying the 30% App Store tax is another question, of course :)