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I wasted so much time trying to figure out how to get books in the iOS kindle app. When I finally figured out that I had to use my laptop, I was still confused at so why the iOS app was not saying anything about anything.



Technically you can use your iPad/iPhone, but you have to use a web browser instead of the Kindle app. A funny thing happens when you do — the website redirects you to the Amazon app, which then redirects you back to the website. Honestly, I don't know how Amazon does purchasing through the Amazon app without giving 30% to Apple, but it seems that they don't let you purchase books this way.


The 30% fee only applies to digital goods, not physical ones. It's part of why there's all the awkward hoops that the main amazon app goes through when you run into digital goods, but everything else is mostly sane


If that's the case, could Spotify work around this by mailing something to the customer every month (like a "Certificate of Subscription")? That way it'd technically be a physical good.


I imagine that would be insufficient to transform the purchase into that of a physical good. Might have a chance if it were a physical widget (USB key?) that you plug into your computer or phone to validate your subscription. Even that is walking the line, since you're arguably still buying a digital good, albeit one that is activated/confirmed via a hardware key.


So if I were to buy a sheet of paper from Amazon every month, that wouldn't be a physical good?

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?


Apple is not a robot. And they're already interpreting vague text against spotify wherever they can.

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.)


My point is that we can get to a point where the only way Apple can actually enforce such a rule consistently is by forcing itself into the process of purchasing physical goods and dictating what physical goods can and cannot be sold.

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.


> My point is that we can get to a point where the only way Apple can actually enforce such a rule consistently is by forcing itself into the process of purchasing physical goods and dictating what physical goods can and cannot be sold.

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.


It's not that niche of a category, though. Any sale of a physical good with a warranty or separate registration process or "cloud" features or any other non-physical good/service that's tied to that physical good would be caught up in this. That's a pretty broad category.

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 :)


Apple makes the rules; and they're mostly concerned about digital marketplaces that _could_ operate purely via IAP




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