Apple Updates Rules for E-Reader Apps

Jul 26, 2011

Apple is enforcing its new in-app subscription rules for ereader apps, which require that apps be stripped of links to external sites for purchasing digital books or subscriptions, according to Cnet. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo have since complied with the new terms, removing links to their bookstores from their iOS apps. The Google Books app disappeared from the App Store briefly, but returned without its store links. And the The Wall Street Journal will soon remove all purchasing options from its iOS apps, as required by Apple's new rules. Once all ereader apps have complied, Apple's iBooks app will be the only one that allows customers to buy ebooks from within the app.

Apple requires companies to grant it 30% of the sales generated from within iOS apps. In the past, ereading apps avoided paying Apple a cut of their revenue by sending customers outside of the app to a website to purchase their ebooks. Now, ebook libraries for Kindle, Kobo, and Nook can still be accessed from iOS devices, but ebooks must be purchased on the company's individual websites and then synced to the app libraries separately.