Kindle, Kobo iPhone Apps Drop Store Buttons

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The Kobo and Kindle ebook reader apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch lost their in-app purchase option over the weekend thanks to software updates. The change brings the apps into compliance with Apple’s rules prohibiting in-app subscriptions that don’t pass through the App Store.

Customers can still shop for ebooks through the Kobo and Amazon Kindle Web sites, and their purchases will appear in the iOS reader apps.

Amazon's updated Kindle appThe Kindle app with store access (left), and without (right)

Google’s Google Books app disappeared from the App Store over the weekend. The timing has raised questions as to exactly why the ebook reader was pulled, and Apple and Google haven’t offered any comment on the change.

Apple’s own iBooks ebook reader app is the exception to the rul in that it will continue to offer an in-app option to purchase books through the iBookstore.

The Kobo and Kindle apps are free and is available at Apple’s iTunes-based App Store.

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Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I can’t even begin to imagine how Apple fans would explain how this is “a good thing”. This is retarded.

jfbiii

Yep. Retarded. But more so when it’s Apple doing it. In fact, it’s only comment-worthy when Apple exerts control over their platform. When other platforms do it everybody pretends not to notice.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Perhaps you should look at this in terms of how it benefits iPad users. It does not in any way, shape, or form. It hinders those who want choice in purchasing content or want to use that purchased content on non-Apple devices.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  Of course, you realize that Google has the same requirement for its Market Place, though its terms are, I think, slightly cheaper.  The reason that Google is slightly cheaper is that it chooses to capture and exploit its users’ personal data, which it then sells to advertisers and marketers to, in part, subsidize the costs of running the Market Place, while Apple, because of its much different and reasonably effective privacy policy, doesn’t have access to its users’ personal data to trade to advertisers.  (With Apple it is the user who decides what, if any, personal data the developer gets.  But for some reason, Google, Kobo, Kindle, et al. don’t wish to obtain the user’s informed consent to acquire and use that user’s personal information.)

Yet, both Google and Apple must pay a lot to run their respective online stores.  To run its various iTunes stores(iTunes, App Store, etc.), Apple pays about $100 million a month.  Apple pays that costs and runs its iTunes store at about breakeven from the 30% commission that its charges, without which Apple would have to absorb more than a billion dollars in losses.  Somehow Kobo, Kindle, and hypocrite Google—a hypocrite because it also requires a commission and in-app purchases through Google—et al. think that they should get to use the App Store and its ability to acquire customers and generate vast revenues for their businesses for free, leaving it to Apple to pay the costs of operating its App Store, which makes their proprietary in-app sales possible, while it, Apple, receives none of the benefits from their sales on its App Store.

Nothing could be more absurdly and patently unfair.  So if Google, Kobo, Kindle, et al. don’t wish to pay Apple its 30% commission for the value that it provides with its App Store, they can pay the costs of running their own website and acquiring their own customers.  And if they can do so more cheaply than Apple’s 30% commission, while generating the same or better revenues, let them do so.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Dear Bosco:? Of course, you realize that Google has the same requirement for its Market Place, though its terms are, I think, slightly cheaper.?

Complete and udder horse manure. I just verified this by the following steps:
1. Downloaded Kindle app on my Nook Color running Cyanogenmod.
2. Started Kindle app.
3. Purchased book from Amazon without leaving Kindle app. I bought “Sex on the Moon” by Ben Mezrich after hearing the author on The Jungle this morning. I verified each step of the way that I was in the Kindle app and not the Browser.

Of course, to make claims about a developer TOS, one might think that a lawyer had actually bothered to read it.

Because then said lawyer would be familiar with the two operative portions relative to this discussion. A definition:

Products: Software, content and digital materials created for Devices in accordance with the Android SDK and distributed via the Market.

and a term:

4.5 Non-Compete. You may not use the Market to distribute or make available any Product whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of Products outside of the Market. (emphasis mine)

So Kindle and other e-reader apps that sell content to be used with primary functionality of the app are not required by Google to sell that content through the Android Market in order to appear on the Android Market. However, an app like Amazon App Store for Android would run afoul of this term because it’s an app store. And notice that Amazon and Google aren’t in any kind of epic battle because of the Amazon App Store for Android, despite the wishes of Apple fans.

Step your game up, Nemo. This was way too easy. You should delete the whole justification of costs too. I’m embarrassed for you just reading it. Just because Apple is the undisputed industry leader in make-work doesn’t mean that its competitors have to or want to assume the same operational cost structure.

Ethan

“Of course, you realize that Google has the same requirement for its Marketplace, though its terms are, I think, slightly cheaper.”

Nemo please give a link to the rule that states Google’s payment system is the only one allowed in the Marketplace. There is a rule that says you can only use Google’s in-app system in apps that are sold in the MarketPlace (which makes sense as it uses your marketplace account to make the payment). I don’t know of a rule barring other in-app solutions in apps that are sold in the Marketplace. This is why Rovio can create their own payment system: Bad Piggy Bank, or use the paypal solution and zong.

So Kindle on android can continue to use whatever system Amazon rolled for in-app purchases (i think they built their own).

dmuzzy

First, I thought that Apple relented on that requirement. But I wasn’t paying too much attention, so maybe I just misread.

But regardless, I don’t actually think this is a huge deal. The first time I purchased a book for my Kindle app, I was initially irked that the “Shop Kindle” button send me out of the app to the Amazon website. I thought it was clunky and thought that it should be all in-app.

However, the lasts 2 books I purchased were shopped online in Safari at both the Amazon website as well as the Barnes & Noble website. One book I purchased from Amazon, the other from B&N. In both cases, I didn’t launch either app until the purchase was complete through their respective websites. My point is that I liked that I could shop different stores via Safari without needing to switch to the apps.

This, I think, is actually a problem for iBooks. I was annoyed that I needed to switch from Safari to iBooks to compare prices. I would like it if iBooks could be purchased from Apple without going through the iBooks app and then synced later (although I haven’t purchased a book through iBooks, so maybe I just missed it).

Anyway, not sure if I am making sense, but in a nutshell, I like shopping in a web browser where I can compare the prices quickly and easily, then immediately purchase. The fact that it wasn’t through the app was, for me at least, a good thing.

my 2 cents, ymmv.

Nemo

Gentlemen:  As I said, supra, Google has a bit more room than Apple to subsidize it Market Place with users’ personal info, so Google charges somewhat less.  But Google’s disingenuous dodge works only for the most abject of Google’s apologists.  Google’s:  4.5 Non-Compete. You may not use the Market to distribute or make available any Product whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of Products outside of the Market. (emphasis mine—does nothing much different than what Apple does with its 30% commission.  To begin with, it is Google that will decide whether an apps primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of products outside of the Market.  But even if Google were to interpret that language by some reasonable, objective standard, it would do precisely what Apple’s policy does, which prevent developers’ apps from selling on the App Store unless they pay Apple’s 30%.  If one doesn’t sell on the App Store, just as with Google’s 4.5, supra, and otherwise complies with the App Store’s development agreement, App doesn’t take any commission.

So for all practical purposes Google’s 4.5, supra, and Apple’s policy are equivalent, as there isn’t much difference between primary purpose to sell and forbidding selling, unless you pay, as the case may be, Apple or Google’s respective commissions.  The only difference is that Google’s rule is ambiguous, reserving to Google the right of broad, if not arbitrary, discretion to remove from the Market any app that sells on the Market without going through Google’s in-app payment system. 

So one can only hope that Google will deem that your app doesn’t primarily distribute.  But if Amazon isn’t distributing, I’d certainly like to know what Google means by “primarily distribute.”  Of course, Bosco doesn’t tell us, because he doesn’t know, whether he was able to purchase his book in-app simply because Amazon complied with Google’s terms by using Google’s in-app payment system and, thus, paying Google commission.  Just as Bosco doesn’t know whether Kindle is also paying Google’s commission, or it is not, how Google can possible justify Kindle as not “primarily distributing” books and media from Amazon.

Another complicating factor is that no one knows what kind of side deal Google and Amazon may have entered into regarding how each will share and benefit from pimping their users’ personal information.  That’s a lucrative stream of revenue, one, as I explained, supra, that Apple does not have.

So Boscos’ dramatic production of the definition and 4.5 does nothing to distinguish Google’s policy in principle from Apple’s policy or requiring that all apps conduct sales in the app through Google and Apple’s respective systems for in-app purchases.

Dear Ethan:  We all know that Apple does not permit side-loading of non-jailbroken iOS devices, while Google in theory permits such side-loading.  But, as practical matter, Google quite effectively dominates the space for Android-app stores.  To begin with, to get timely updates of Android, the right to use Google and Android trademarks, the right essential, non-open source parts of the Android stack, an OEM must also, to get all the rest, agree to put the Android Market Place on its Android devices.  That does it right there for the vast majority of folks, who will never go beyond the Market for their apps.  And, as is true for Apple, Google does nothing to support to users who go outside the Market to get their apps, so if your non-Market apps screws up your Android device you are on your own.  Taken together, that the default choice is the Market and that there is no official Google support for non-Market apps, pretty much guarantees that Google dominates the distribution of apps with its Market.  So, as practical matter, while apps outside of the Market can use whatever payment system they choose, most apps are sold on the Market and must comply with the Market’s mandate that no app that “primarily distributes,” see discussion, supra, may be sold on the Market without using the Market’s payment system and, thus, paying Google’s commission.

But again that is not much different than Apple.  Any developer, such as, for example, the Financial Times, who sells outside of the App Store and acquire customers for their respective apps outside of the App Store, can use whatever payment system they choose.

And, Bosco, my justification for Apple’s cost structure is true and just and, therefore, stands, unless you think it is fair that either Apple or app developers who pay Apple’s 30% commission or both, should bear the costs of letting Amazon, Kobo, and their ilk use the App Store for free, while receiving no benefit for, in the case of Apple, providing the valuable service of the App Store or, in the case of paying developers, shouldering the burden of freeloading developers, usually wealthy publishers and retailers, who refuse to pay their share.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Nemo: These terms are not effectively the same, nor has these terms’ history of execution and enforcement by Apple and Google been the same. The only instance where Google has used this term to kick software out is when a free app (on Marketplace) used in-app purchases from a provider other than Google to enable core functionality of the app. Basically, the apps were shells that required off-Google payment to work in any meaningful way. That is entirely different than precluding all non-Google in-app purchasing, which Google does not do anyway.

It just amazes me that some people are so entrenched in Apple’s sliminess that they can’t imagine that others wouldn’t be so slimy. And let’s be clear about it, these changes dictated by Apple are nothing less than pure slime. They do nothing to make the platform more secure. They do nothing to “protect” users’ privacy. They do nothing to ensure that the “free-loaders” pay for infrastructure. Notice that all that happens here in reality is that the purchase is moved to a web page. The grave concerns about in-app purchasing of content are not addressed in the least.

Ethan

Nemo-where has Google banned an app that was simply using a 3rd party in app purchase solution to offer products or enhancements to the base app? Your presenting the theory that Google could use that provision and comparing to the currently enforced stance by Apple that has caused apps by big name companies to remove conveniences to the user. Then stating that they are the same: ?Of course, you realize that Google has the same requirement for its Marketplace, though its terms are, I think, slightly cheaper.?

“So, as practical matter, while apps outside of the Market can use whatever payment system they choose”
Again-where does it state that you can’t use a none google payment system in an app sold in the Marketplace? I’ve not seen that rule. They have not banned apps using Paypal’s android library extension to allow payments. Your using FUD to say that they might do this or that based on a specific clause somewhere in the EULA.

My wife who is not a techno-geek was able to go to www.amazon.com, enter her email, get a download link from amazon for their app store app, click the download, install the downloaded app store app from the notifications pane, and buy an app in a matter of minuteswith her Amazon account. So she has competing App Stores on her phone now. It’s not even “sideloading” which usually involves putting the app on a card or hooking your phone to a computer-this was all done on her phone. It’s rather easy actually.

With Amazon rolling out their own tablets with their own app stores your seeing the power of an open platform.  In the fall I can buy an Android tablet that is skewed to amazon services vs google but it’s still Android. People and users have choice within the ecosystem-that is not true within Apple’s. You may like Apple’s and hate Googles but its a stretch trying to present them as the same thing at this moment. There is way more room to move around in Android than iOS.

Guest

Wow, and I used to respect Nemo and think that he had something to say. Seriously Nemo, lying is not a very convincing argumentative strategy..

Nemo

Dear Ethan:  I suppose that you are disingenuously pretending to be obtuse.  I said supra that, as a practical matter, not as rule, because Google does permit side-loading on Android, Google’s Market effectively impose its in-app purchase requirements on the vast majority of apps sold, because:  (1) The Market is the default app store for Android, which most users won’t go beyond; and (2) going outside of the Market means forgoing any support from Google, so that if one’s non-Market app impairs the function of one’s Android device.  That means that, as a practical matter, Google’s imposition of its in-app requirement is just as effective as Apple’s requirement for in-app purchases, because, notwithstanding that Google permits side-loading, most Android apps come from the Market.

Now, I assume that you can and do understand what the term “as practical matter” means.  So now perhaps, you can reread my responsive comment, supra, with comprehension.

Dear Bosco:  You have no idea how Google enforces it policy on in-app purchased, unless Google is sharing information with you that it wouldn’t share with the FTC without a formal request.  And, of course, if Google did share that infromation and unless you are Google’s lawyers, that information would cease to be privileged and would, therefore, be easily discoverable by either the government or civil litigants.  So, on that basis alone, we can dismiss your response as nothing more than you talking through your hat.  But, in addition to that, when Apple first announced it policy on in-app purchases, several news organization, shortly thereafter, reported on Google’s similar policy and on its intent to enforce it.  I think that among those papers was the WSJ and TMO. 

After dinner, if I am so disposed, I may revive my fading research skills and locate those stories for you, or you can do it yourself.

Guest

@Nemo

You can spew as much hot air as you want, but no matter how you try to spin your monkey feces, the fact of the matter is that I can buy a book from the Amazon Kindle store on android right now without giving google any of that $$. The same cannot be said on iOS, where Apple is forcing publishers to give them a large portion of their profits.

Nemo, is it not correct that I can purchase a book directly from Amazon on an Android device? If that is correct (which it is) how can you possibly, in good conscience, even attempt to imply that this is not the case?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

That means that, as a practical matter, Google?s imposition of its in-app requirement is just as effective as Apple?s requirement for in-app purchases, because, notwithstanding that Google permits side-loading, most Android apps come from the Market.

Actually, there is a great amount of Android app commerce and distribution that goes on outside the Andoird Marketplace. Large venues include Amazon App Store for Android and Barnes & Noble’s app store for Nook Color. Noted game maker Gameloft did not sell games in the Android Market until recently.

Regardless, and maybe “checks and balances” is a concept that is difficult for lawyers to really grasp, but anyway: It is not the proportion of apps on Android Market that keeps Google from going down the delta-bravo path paved by Apple. It is simply that developers and users have other legitimate options.

Nemo, if you actually understood how the Android software ecosystem worked in practice, and then you had some critique of it, your opinion would be interesting. You clearly have no grasps of the dynamics of it. Oh, by the way… Google did not explicitly ban third party in-app purchasing schemes. Apple did.

Nemo

Dear Guest:  To begin with I never said that you couldn’t.  For the third time, Google permits side-loading, which includes Amazon’s app store for Android and also some other non-Market apps stores.  And, as I said, supra, each of those stores can use either Google’s payment system, which it urges but probably cannot require, because of antitrust law, third parties to use, or some other in-app payment system of their own choosing.  I guess that you ran with Ethan’s false statement, supra, that I said that Google prohibited alternative payment systems for third party app stores, when I never said anything of kind.  I said that, like Apple, Google’s requires the use of its proprietary in-app payment system of app that sell on its proprietary app store, the Market. 

You can buy an e-book from Amazon and read from it now on any reasonably late vintage iPhone or iPad.  You can also develop a library of such Amazon e-books.  Just go to Amazon through the Safari web browser.  And since Apple does not permit third parties to use its payments system, except on the App Store, your payment for that Amazon e-book will certainly use some in-app payment system other than Apple’s.

Ethan

@ guest: I think we can argue without being rude.

@ nemo:  “I said that, like Apple, Google’s requires the use of its
proprietary in-app payment system of app that sell on its proprietary app
store, the Market. ” So if your saying that the app itself must be paid for via google’s purchase system when buying off the Marketplace-then you are correct. Just like Amazon app store uses your Amazon account. The issue here is that is not what Bosco was talking about when he said:

“It hinders those who want choice in purchasing content or want to use that purchased content on non-Apple devices.”

He was discussing the in-app purchase platform that allows you to buy ebooks within an ebook reader like Kindle, or power upgrades in games. That was what the Apple policy is dealing with-not the purchase of an app itself from the store. So if your original response was focused on the actual app purchase, then i’d say so what? That’s not what Bosco was talking about.

The other option is you really mean what you just wrote:

“I said that, like Apple, Google’s requires the use of its
proprietary in-app payment system of app that sell on its proprietary appstore, the Market. ”

Which is false. Period. A dev can sell a game that when purchased from the Marketplace is paid for via the Google payment system. The Dev however can use any in app service they choose to for selling content within the app such as new levels, powerups, or cheat codes if the app was a game. On Apple that in App purchase must go via Apple and that is the difference.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  Until the advent of Amazon’s Android app store, Google pretty much had the field of Android apps stores to itself, unless we are talking about China, where Google is screwed big time.  The Nook doesn’t amount to much and probably never will, until Barnes&Nobel; decides to build a decently capable tablet computer instead of simply an e-book reader that runs Android and that can muddle its way through a few low-power apps.

It will be interesting to see whether Amazon is doing some serious damage to the Market both among developers and end-users.  I certainly hope so, for that will disrupt, if not destroy, Google’s business model for the Market, and make Google eat its specious, hypocritical propaganda about how open it is.  Google will be faced with having to use more of its Android ad revenue to supplement declining commission, as more apps move to Android.  Rivio, after publicly ragging Google for the poor returns that it and every other developer get from a subscription model on the Market, declared that it would be taking Angry Birds to Amazon’s Android app store.

The rise of the Amazon Android apps store, along with the latest developments in Oracle v. Google, will certainly give Mr. Page something to consider.  But unlike you, Bosco, I am pretty sure that Mr. Page isn’t taking any joy from either of those developments.

Nemo

Dear Ethan:  And any developers who pays Apple’s 30% commission can do in-app purchases on the App Store, and great many do.  So I was and am talking about in-app purchases. 

And Google does require its commission for in-app purchases on the Market.  After that, if a developer chooses to use another service for additional in-app purchase, I think Google would permit that, because antitrust law would probably require that.  However, while you are on the Market, you shall pay Google its commission for in-app purchases, including content, as well as the app.  Or as Section 3.2 of Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement provides:

“3.2 The price you set for Products will determine the amount of payment you will receive. A Transaction Fee, as defined below, will be charged on the sales price and apportioned to the Payment Processor and, if one exists, the Authorized Carrier. The remainder (sales price less Transaction Fee) will be remitted to you. The “Transaction Fee” is set forth at http://market.android.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=112622 [which indicates that Google’s commission is 30%] and may be revised by Google from time to time. Developer is responsible for determining if a Product is taxable and the applicable tax rate for the Payment Processor to collect for each taxing jurisdiction where Products are sold. Developer is responsible for remitting taxes to the appropriate taxing authority.”

And that same Agreement defines “Products” to mean:  Software, content and digital materials created for Devices in accordance with the Android SDK and distributed via the Market.   

So, as you can see from the foregoing, anything distributed on the Market, whether it be an app or content from an in-app purchase, requires paying Google a commission of 30%.

And Apple requires the same 30% for purchasing the app and for in-app purchases, just like Google on its Market.  If a publisher or other developer starts on the App Store, it/he does not have to stay.  You only owe Apple 30% for in-app purchases done on the App Store.  I haven’t considered this and am going from my memory of published version of Apple’s App Store developers agreement, but I think that you can start on the App Store and then leave it to sell content in the app from outside the App Store.  I think antitrust law would require that.

But while you sell either apps or content from in-app purchase from either Google’s Market or Apple’s App Store, you shall pay either Apple or Google, depending on which app store your are on, its 30% commission.  There you have it in black and white.  There is no difference in principle between Apple and Google in how they charge for in-app purchases on their respective app stores.

Guest

Wrong again, Nemo!

As I said earlier, the fact of the matter is, I can go and buy the Amazon Kindle app directly from the Google Android Market without any complicated side loading or external stores or any of that other crap you’re bringing up. And inside that app that I can get directly from Google, I can buy books through the amazon kindle store, in app, without giving a single penny to Google.

Kindle app on Android Marketplace: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.amazon.kindle&hl=en

How are you going to weasel yourself out of this undeniable fact?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

So, as you can see from the foregoing, anything distributed on the Market, whether it be an app or content from an in-app purchase, requires paying Google a commission of 30%.

Your implication does not follow, Nemo. Developers are not required by Google to use Google’s in-app purchasing system for in-app content. Again, what they are precluded from doing is creating a “free” app, that then requires an in-app purchase off Google to enable the core functionality of the app. Even then, that would just get them booted from Google Marketplace. They could distribute their apps on other marketplaces that will accept them or directly from their own web sites. That is very different from how Apple does things.

BTW, it’s really easy to distribute an Android app from your own website. Here’s a pre-release app I’m distributing.

The Nook doesn?t amount to much and probably never will, until Barnes&Nobel; decides to build a decently capable tablet computer instead of simply an e-book reader that runs Android and that can muddle its way through a few low-power apps.

You aren’t just clueless, Nemo. You are “Sofa King” clueless. Here’s your stock, underpowered Android tablet running an exclusive new version of Angry Birds. It runs an 800Mhz A8. It has 5 GB of Flash memory on board, and 480 MB RAM. It has a pixel density of 169 ppi vs. iPad’s 132.

Nemo

Bosco first:  The Nook Color’s CPU is a single core A8, which compared to the iPad or even the top-of-the-line Android tablets, if you can refer to any Android tablet as top-of-the-line, is grossly under powered.  Then how can it run Angry Birds.  Well, it doesn’t, at least not the version that runs on the iPad and more robust Android hardware.  Android Magic is the lightweight version of Angry Birds that Rivio started working on last year to run on low powered Android devices.  See http://www.slashgear.com/angry-birds-devs-admit-lightweight-version-in-works-for-underpowered-android-phones-19115044/; and http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/11/rovios-angry-birds-wont-fly-on-slow-android-devices.ars. 

But even the full fledged version of Angry Bird, which won’t run on the Nook Color, doesn’t come close to the processing power needed to run apps like KORG iELECTRIBE or Brushes or djay or that cool app demoed at the introduction of iPad 2 that can synthesize almost any instrument.  Try running any of that on your Nook Color, if you can find any apps like that in any Android app store.

The Nook Color’s CPU can’t cut it, and that is just the CPU.  The integrated GPU in the Nook Color is light years behind the A5’s integrated GPU, which is why the apps that it can run have to be, as Angry Birds Magic, lightweight.

Nemo

Dear Agitated Guest:  I never said that you couldn’t buy the Kindle app from the Market, which means one of three things:  Amazon pursuant to Section 3.2, which I discuss, supra, is paying Google its 30% commission; Google, at least in Amazon’s case isn’t enforcing the express terms of Section 3.2, which require a 30% commission; or Google and Amazon have cut a special side deal for Amazon. 

Which it is, I don’t know, but perhaps Bosco can inform you, as he seems to be privy to information that only a senior executive of Google would know.  My guess is that Amazon is paying Google’s 30$ commission, because it can get from Google an agreement to at least share users’ valuable private and/or personal info, which is something that Apple cannot and will not do because its privacy agreement with the users of its iOS devices won’t permit it.

So no weaseling is necessary, just following the express terms of Section 3.2 of Google’s Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement.  See my discussion of Section 3.2, supra.

Nemo

And Bosco:  Let’s be precise.  Section 3.2 and the definition of Products require that any Product made to run on Android Devices with the Android SDK and distributed on the Market that charges a price must pay Google’s 30$ commission of that price.  The defined term Product embraces apps, content, in-app purchases, and anything sold through the app on the Market:  To wit:  Products are:  Software, content and digital materials created for Devices in accordance with the Android SDK and distributed via the Market.  And when a developer charges a price for a Product, he must pay Google’s commission:  “The price you set for Products will determine the amount of payment you will receive.A Transaction Fee, as defined below, will be charged on the sales price and apportioned to the Payment Processor and, if one exists, the Authorized Carrier. The remainder (sales price less Transaction Fee) will be remitted to you. The ?Transaction Fee? is set forth at http://market.android.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=112622 [which indicates that Google?s commission is 30%] . . . .”

So developers are required to use Google’s in-app payment system and pay a commission of 30% when they distribute a Product for a price on the Market, provided, of course, that Google is honoring the terms of its own agreement.  But you know Google, so who knows.

However, when a Product is being distributed off the Market, Google, just as does Apple, does not assert any control over that transaction or over the developer’s relationship with his/its customer, though Google, because of the privacy policy attached to a Google account, which one must have to make any real use of an Android device, has pretty free rein and the ability to make commercial use of any user’s private and/or personal information on any orthodox Android device, no matter what the developer wants, even when the developer is distributing his app off the Market.

And to think for its 30%, Google won’t even defend its developers against Lodsys, apparently leaving that task to Apple, as Apple defends its developers from Lodsys.  Well, at least there, Google may get to free ride on Apple’s work without Apple being able to do much about it, not so for the App Store.

jfbiii

Perhaps you should look at this in terms of how it benefits iPad users. It does not in any way, shape, or form. It hinders those who want choice in purchasing content or want to use that purchased content on non-Apple devices.

I’m saying, “it’s retarded.” However, I don’t really think it’s much of a hinderance to buyers of content. It’s a HUGE hinderance to sellers of content, specifically to those who don’t believe that there should be any cost to access a potential market of 230 million devices.

Nobody complains when console makers do this. Nobody complained when cell carriers did this (pre-iPhone, remember what that was like?). My theory about why few are complaining about Google making money from Android is that it’s not readily apparent that they are. And it’s the fact that Apple, as a platform maker, is turning a profit that seems to me to be the real issue here. I could be wrong. The test, I suppose, is to ask: “Is there a percentage of sale at which point you (or Amazon or any other third party) would simply accept that there’s a cost of doing business on iOS?”

I’m not defending the 30% per se. I am defending the right to charge something for access to the iOS installed base.

Guest

Amazon pursuant to Section 3.2, which I discuss, supra, is paying Google its 30% commission; Google, at least in Amazon?s case isn?t enforcing the express terms of Section 3.2, which require a 30% commission; or Google and Amazon have cut a special side deal for Amazon.?

Nemo, you’re getting messy and letting your severe fanboyism cloud your thoughts. The fact is, the version of the Kindle app that I can get from the Marketplace allows me to buy the books directly from Amazon, without giving a cut to Google. Stating otherwise is wild, baseless speculation that is completely incorrect. If Amazon was using Google as the payment processor, it would have to pay Google it’s cut. However, they link their own payment system directly into the app, meaning Google doesn’t see any of the money. If you recall the original article this thread is attached to (yes, it’s been a while and we’ve gotten a bit off topic wink ) Amazon is not allowed to present a link to their payment method without also providing a way to purchase the same item through Apple. This functionality has since been removed from the App$tore version so they don’t have to pay Apple. However, the functionality still exists in the Android version because Google doesn’t have the same arcane requirements that Apple does.

If you want to quote Google’s terms, please don’t quote them and then “summarize” them with a completely different meaning. Section 3.2 simply describes how Google will asses fees for items the developer sells through Google’s system. Since Amazon is not selling through Google’s system, section 3.2 is completely irrelevant.

And while we’re on the subject of gleaning pure fiction from quotes, you stated:

4.5 Non-Compete. You may not use the Market to distribute or make available any Product whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of Products outside of the Market. (emphasis mine?does nothing much different than what Apple does with its 30% commission.


Your “interpretation” of this section as being “nothing much different than what Apple does” is an outright fabrication. Google has repeatedly set a precedence of what they mean by this section, because, as was stated before, apps like Paypal and Kindle are allowed on the Marketplace without any problem. Arguing that Google would interpret the Kindle app’s primary purpose as a sales platform, and not a book reader, is an obvious case of self-convincing since there is a clear precedence that you are wrong.

Your wild and fictitious accusations that Google has struck some sort of private information sharing scheme with Amazon are an excellent testament to your desperation to convince yourself of your righteousness. There isn’t a single shred of evidence that this is true, but you present it as if it supports your case. In any setting other than a discussion forum like this, those kind of wild accusations could get you in a lot of trouble. And your side-swipes at Mr. Bosco are nothing more than humorous, as he hasn’t presented anything that could even remotely be insider information. Stop lying to yourself and others by pretending otherwise.

To summarize, in a way that is clear and easy to swallow for even the most deluded self-convincing fanboy:

1. Google’s section 2.5 is NOT what you say it is. Period. I have provided counterexamples as to why your “interpretation” is way off.

2. Google’s section 3.2 is NOT APPLICABLE in this situation, because Amazon is not using Google as the payment processor.

Guest

And suddenly, when presented with the facts for about the tenth time (albeit in an offensive and rude manner, but it seems to be the only way to get through to him), Nemo disappears. Point being, I will no longer trust a word he says, the way that I used to.

Perry w

Unless the android apps go the same way, I don’t think I’ll be buying an iPad because of this.

I use the in app purchase from the free samples all the time and I don’t want to have to take a few more steps.

If Apple is trying to move people to the ibookstore, then they need to do two things. 1 have more books. and 2 price them at the same price as Amazon and Kobo and others.

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