Apple has notified newspaper, book and magazine publishers that, as of March 31st, they must offer their content as an in-app purchase or risk being rejected from the App Store. This requirement comes hot on the heels of the rejection of the Sony Reader application from the Apple App store. According to the New York Times, Sony submitted an eBook application that would let Sony Reader owners read their purchased books on their iOS device. While nobody outside Sony has seen the application, many assume the app functioned in a similar manner to the Amazon Kindle application which lets you purchase Kindle books on Amazon’s website and sync them with your iOS device.
According to the previous reports, Apple is using a section of its developers guideline to reject Sony’s application as well as justify this new requirements.
Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected.
While the policy has been on the books for a while, it has not been enforced. The reasons behind its sudden enforcement are not known, but it may have to do with the launch of The Daily. Developed by News Corp., The Daily is an iPad newspaper and the first application to support Apple’s new subscription-based pricing. The debut of subscription-based pricing and in-app purchases open the door for Apple to force publishers to sell their wares through the App Store. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that these in-app purchase would be subject to Apple’s iTunes 70/30 revenue sharing agreement in which Apple grabs 30% of the cut.
[Via The Wall Street Journal]