“Apple is further tightening its control of the App Store,” Claire Cain Miller and Miguel Helft report for The New York Times. “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.”
MacDailyNews Take: Where’s the “tightening?” The App Store never allowed in-app purchases that didn’t go through the proper API. Nor did it prevent stores from selling items outside the app via mobile browser. As John Paczkowski reports for AllThingsD, “Apple’s made no change to its App Store Guidlines, it’s simply enforcing a rule that’s been in them all along: apps that offer purchases elsewhere must support in-app purchases as well. ‘We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,’ company spokesperson Trudy Miller told me. ‘We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.'”
Miller and Helft report, “Apple rejected Sony’s iPhone application, which would have let people buy and read e-books bought from the Sony Reader Store. Apple told Sony that from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple, said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division. The move could affect companies like Amazon.com and others that sell e-book readers that compete with Apple’s iPad tablet and offer free mobile apps so customers can read their e-book purchases on other devices. An iPad owner, for instance, has not needed to own a Kindle to read Kindle books bought from Amazon.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Bad reporting. There is no “move.” There is nothing new. Apple’s App Store Guidelines clearly state, “Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected. Apps using IAP to purchase physical goods or goods and services used outside of the application will be rejected.” What part of “will be rejected” did Sony not understand? Sony’s developers ought to learn how to read and The New York Times ought to do a better job reporting the facts. Apple is simply enforcing existing rules and making sellers offer iOS users the option of making more convenient In-App purchases.
It’s sad that Sony has been so diminished as to have to resort to trying to use Apple in a wholly transparent play for free publicity, but there you have it.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]