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Kindle, Netflix updates go through despite iOS rules

updated 06:25 pm EDT, Tue March 15, 2011

Kindle and Netflix clear iOS rules

Apple showed possible leniency on its in-app subscription and in-app purchase rules on Tuesday by allowing through new versions of the Amazon Kindle (free, App Store) and Netflix (free, App Store) iPhone and iPad apps. Despite Apple's rules banning links to outside purchasing systems and requiring the official iTunes in-app system when an outside one exists, the Kindle 2.6.1 app still takes users to the web-based Kindle Store. Netflix' 1.2 update also still hsa its existing set and lets users subscribe to the service on the web without also having an iTunes option.

The company had partly backtracked on the rules when CEO Steve Jobs said the new subscription rules were only for publishers and not subscription-as-a-service providers, but it has remained inconsistent both for this and in-app purchases. It publicly kicked out Sony's Reader despite using a web store approach virtually identical to Amazon's Kindle app. Likewise, it hasn't said whether publishers was limited to print or included audio and video.

They may have remained unchanged due to Apple's end-of-June deadline for many of the changes, but Apple has already been rejecting apps for not following the new rules. A possibility exists that Apple has partly backed off after early FTC investigations that may have been a warning about anti-competitive behavior.

Apple is also known to occasionally exempt major companies from rules when they help drive customers or would be too large to oust without facing a lawsuit or other retaliation. It put out a rule banning apps that explicitly traded on sexuality but promptly defended its keeping the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition app on the argument that it fit a culturally accepted norm. Amazon and Netflix are considered two of the most important iOS app providers and would both lose Apple customers and possibly trigger a legal response if they were forced out.

Apple hasn't commented on the approvals. [via TechCrunch]



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. kimgh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2011

    +2

    Maybe good news...

    If this attitude on the part of Apple persists past the deadline, I consider it good new. Almost my only use of my iPad is as a Kindle book reader, and if Apple made that go away, I'd be much less likely to buy another iPad.

    So I'm cautiously optimistic.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004

    -1

    I have a theory.

    I think this thing has been way overblown and nobody actually talked to Apple about these types of services specifically. Rather, they spoke to someone way too low on the totem pole in generalities and then "ASSUMED" that it would affect Amazon and Netflix.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    0

    right, it's an exception

    I agree with the writer of the article.

    Apple kicks out the smaller companies with its rules, and keeps the largest in.

    Amazon stays in only because it has the might to fight with Apple.

    But the reality is, even if keeping along one competitor weakens the anti-competitive argument, by and large, it is anti-competitive.

    Don't freak out - its not apples job to promote competition, its their job to win the competition.

    We live in a society where if you accurately describe anything, people think thats taking a position - so just calm yourself down, little Nelly.

    Apple has the right to be anticompetitive and their duty to be anticompetitive.

    But the governments job and duties are different. If this is not what is best for the american economy and only whats best for Apple, they should step in to recommend changes to the law - or if they have the tools available, step-in to force changes.

    What we want - at least I hope most of us want, is the most robust economy, in-general, and we'll trust that will still lead to the most growth for Apple, specifically as well, as they would have the most customers to sell their products too (if the government did this across the board - promoted competition).

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: I have a theory.

    I think this thing has been way overblown and nobody actually talked to Apple about these types of services specifically.

    Except they stopped the sony ereader app, which did not involve subscriptions, and stated the reason as not having app store ability.

    And perhaps if Apple's approval process wasn't as suspect as it is, actually had a real terms of service which people could read, didn't change it every time the wind blows, and stopped acting like Microsoft and trying to suck every penny they can from their iPhone/iPad, it wouldn't be a problem at all.

    Or, you know, if they would just communicate. You'd think a company who puts so much emphasis on talking and video and information and such, would actually heed it's own PR and just tell vendors, customers, etc, what the facts are.

    It's like Rosetta in Lion. Or Classic in Leopard. Will it be there? Will it not be there? Who the h*** knows, because h*** will be freezing over before Apple actually says anything about anything. Even now, you'd be hard pressed for them to admit that Classic is missing.

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