Apple reject Sony's iPhone app, and the real greed begins
Recently, Apple began contacting developers concerning a change to the way customers can pay for subscriptions through their apps; any future content must be paid for via Apple, rather than online or through a company's own e-commerce system.
Earlier in the month that change claimed its first major scalp, but it threatens to take many more. According to cnet uk, Sony's ebook reader was rejected by Apple, because it allowed users to buy ebooks direct through Sony, without Apple claiming a 30% share of the retail price.
So how can Sony's attempt to retail through iPhone apps be denied, while Amazon's Kindle app has been selling ebooks through their own payment system for nearly two years? They may not be able to in the very near future; Apple is expecting developers to submit updated apps that channel all sales through Apple by the end of June.
The change may not only affect Amazon and online publications, but it could affect music subscription services too. Those businesses appear to have a very simple choice - let Apple skim 30% from their revenue; increase prices accordingly; or walk away from the App Store. An app isn't strictly needed - web apps can be created for an iPhone browser - however web bookmarks are trickier to market and will mean zero marketing support from Apple.
The precedent Apple has set by rejecting Sony seems like a senseless, greedy change; Apple risk alienating many established companies and driving them to other platforms.
Perhaps Apple has predicted the future, and sees paid-for apps as a dwindling source of revenue, with consumers preferring free apps that allow them to select and purchase content and experiences relevant to them. It may be good news for Apple, but the consumer is likely to face their favourite apps being withdrawn or the price of content being increased.