Are Amazon and Apple playing chicken regarding in-app purchasing?
Marco Arment speculates that Apple and Amazon might be locked in a power play regarding Apple’s in-app purchase requirement. Currently, Amazon is still not adhering to this requirement (whose deadline is June 30th, 2011).
A lot of people use the Kindle iOS app. Imagine if Apple
pulls it from the App Store, and Amazon inconveniently launches a $199
iPad alternative that includes it and more.
In the long run, it would probably be great for Apple: iBooks would
become the only widely used commercial-ebook reader on the platform, and
iOS devices have such a massive installed base that being the exclusive
vendor would give Apple a huge advantage when negotiating with
publishers to be in the iBookstore. Amazon knows this.
But it would cause a pretty big short-term headache for Apple that,
if there’s a new and very inexpensive tablet alternative from Amazon,
could pose a credible (although almost certainly not fatal) threat to
the iPad’s marketshare. And Apple knows this.
I suspect the Kindle app will continue being mysteriously and indefinitely exempted from the in-app-purchase rules.
It is a curious situation:
- Not being locked into a single hardware platform is a big selling point for Kindle content. If it wasn’t available on iOS, it would decrease its appeal.
- On the other hand, as soon as you own Kindle content, you depend on your device supporting it. And iOS would be less attractive to you without the Kindle app.
- Amazon as a competitor to Google and Apple
- Apple changes in-app purchase policies: an analysis