Last week, Apple faced harsh criticism for not playing nicely with the Sony Reader App. As you may recall, Apple effectively blocked
Sony Corp's electronic book application from the App Store because the application would have circumvented Apple's system for buying content. “We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,” Apple spokesperson Trudy Miller said in response to the Sony app's unceremonious removal. “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.”
In the wake of Apple's more aggressive enforcement of rules, many wondered if and how the crackdown would impact other applications, specifically those that deliver content for purchase. We may now have an answer. According to a report Thursday in the Wall Street Journal
, Apple is making it a clear priority to "funnel more electronic sales of magazines, newspapers and other content through its iTunes store." As the report added, the move is clearly "making some publishers uneasy."
While Apple is undoubtedly angling to generate more subscription sales of digital content for the iPad, Cupertino's tightening enforcement of rules governing how some iPad apps must handle sales could have profound ramifications for those peddling digital books and other electronic publications. As the Wall Street Journal
reports, Apple is generating no shortage of controversy with its latest crackdown because the company could effectively "require publishers to share revenue from some content with the Silicon Valley company for the first time." Making matters worse for publishers and content providers is that Apple will still restrict them from collecting the subscriber data that is invaluable for marketing purposes.
By complicating what should be a largely uncomplicated process - selling content and digital subscriptions directly to consumers - Apple, by all accounts, risks alienating the very content providers that the company ultimately depends upon to drive the growth and adoption rate of its iPad. Wall Street Journal