Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader evades Apple's 30% take

By , ITworld |  Cloud Computing, Amazon Kindle, Amazon.com

Al Capone

flickr/bradleygee

Apple builds not just products, but complete eco-systems to support their users. The iPod was great, but iTunes to give the iPod easy access to music was even better. Love 'em or hate 'em, but Apple wraps their customers in a protective range of services to ensure their computing experience is never threatened. You know, kind of like the Mafia provides stores protection to make sure nothing, ah, unfortunate happens. Capishe?

The street term for the gratuity needed to keep your legs in non-broken mode is "vigorish." In Apple's case, those making book and magazine apps for devices running iOS (mostly iPad) pay 30 percent of any sales to Apple, a steep price according to many. Apple's rules block apps from linking to non-Apple sales sites, forcing everyone to buy from iTunes. This meant iPad readers using the Kindle app, supported by Amazon's huge back end investment making new book buying a one-click affair, were forced to iTunes for new books.

[Apple's new subscription model: Pros and cons and Google Books bows to new Apple App Store rules]

So Amazon exploited the browser loophole, moving their reader and ordering from an app to browser access to the new Kindle Cloud Reader. You can now coordinate your library across your iPad through the browser, not the app. All the cool Kindle features of one-click ordering, picking up books where you stopped reading, and organizing your library are done as a browser application, not an app. Therefore, no more 30 percent vigorish to Apple.

Amazon Genius

There are ways around closed platforms. Open platforms shall prevail.
Joseph AJ on techcrunch.com

That's quite clever that! Apple won't let them sell e-books through the Kindle iOS app without taking a 30% cut, so instead they send the customer to buy the books through their browser!
Michael Papadopoulos on endgadget.com

There should be more alternatives like this as the functionality of HTML 5 increases.
darkcrayon on endgadget.com

Sweet revenge on Apple

Jobs to world: 'get off MY property, stop talking to MY people'. Amazon to Jobs' people: 'come to us' :)).
njarth on techcrunch.com

Suck it apple.
Matthew Palsson on techcrunch.com

And it really does serve Apple right for the terms they enacted. It's also a good move should Apple decide to become even more anti-competitive with their App Store terms.
EricNau on macrumors.com

Seems like a pretty brilliant use of the latest HTML5 technologies (especially with the off-line functionality). The obvious benefit, as mentioned, would be getting around Apple's "give us 30% of the price for in-app purchases" rule; but it would seem to have other advantages as well.
Westside guy on macrumors.com

Apple still wins

Still, Apple is getting something sweet in return from such moves, these vendors are not using Adobe Flash.
Yossi Mesika on techcrunch.com

Steve Jobs: We support two platforms at Apple. Two. The first is HTML5, a fully-open, uncontrolled platform that is forged and defined by standards bodies. We fully support HTML5. Apple's browsers are in the lead in terms of supporting the full HTML5 standard, and we are behind this 100%. It is fully open."
JonnyFive on endgadget.com

This is funny and ironic seeing as Apple originally only wanted web based Apps with the original iPhone.
Mr. Gates on macrumors.com

Which do you worry more about: little companies getting trampled as the two ecommerce elephants fight, or Apple finding another way to extract their 30 percent?

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