Apple vs Amazon in-app purchase issue: what’s it all about?

The end of a free Kindle sample

When a discussion spread across Internet about Apple changing in-app purchase rules, my first reaction was: it’s pointless.

I never bought an ebook by using a “Kindle Store” button on a homepage of a Kindle app. It’s a useless link as Kindle app is the place where you collected all your previous purchase decisions – so why you should need more and, most importantly, what should it be? The problem is a lack of reference. You don’t see any books “recommended for you” or other personalized links as it is happening at the Amazon site.

So what’s it all about? Apple wants a 30% cut from what?

There is one reference. A very effective one. You see it at the end of every free sample you have in your Kindle app: “Buy now” button.

When it comes to Kindle apps the current purchase system is “1-Click-More”. You waste one click in order to switch to Safari. It would be a real “1-Click” if the in-app purchase is enabled. And that’s what Apple counts on.

What will readers do?

They’ll go for a more convenient option (in-app), but on two conditions:

Price is the same – there is no difference between the price of a book bought via Kindle app and via Safari. I don’t know whether it’s possible at all, although we have to bear in mind that Apple wants a cut from an ebook distributor, not a publisher – and this is happening for the first time.

Book is synced – the book purchased within the Kindle app is synced across devices. This is a question to Amazon, because a lack of sync can be their possible move to lower the attractiveness of in-app purchases. It is doable: currently free samples and third-party books are not synced, so why not applying the same rule to “1-Apple-Click” purchases?

From a point of view of a reader the quicker the better. I don’t care about who takes what cut and how. I want to read more books. And this can be done also by saving time devoted to find and buy them.

6 Replies to “Apple vs Amazon in-app purchase issue: what’s it all about?”

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