Brief reminder: in 2011, Apple introduced a system called In-App Purchase. Sony, which had just released its iOS library application, was the first to pay the price: a 30% cut on the sale price would now be levied by Apple for any purchase made in an app. In the case of digital books, this loss of margin became untenable. Conclusion: none of the ebookstore applications allowed anything other than to consult books, to be purchased elsewhere.
For Amazon, which had more than the wind in its sails in this segment, the case turned sour: iOS devices already had some 24% of global market share in 2011. Kindle was therefore amputated from a significant source future income. Since then, customers have taken the fold: buy on the Amazon application, then connect to the Kindle, synchronize purchases and read. Painful, frustrating and ultimately infuriating.
On your fine heart…
Until then, Android had largely spared its developer customers, but a recent modification of the conditions of use will lead to the same problems. Google indeed practices the hunt for bad payers, and from June 1, ensures that apps that do not respect its billing system will be eradicated.
READ: Steve Jobs decides to submit Amazon to the laws of the App Store
In response, Amazon put an end to the possibilities of purchases on the Audible Android app (subsidiary dedicated to audio books) on April 1st. Following in its footsteps, the American bookstore chain Barnes & Noble adopted the same strategy on April 4. Remember that, since April 1, companies whose turnover is greater than $1 million, through apps, must pay Google 30% of the sums on purchases made.
Conclusion: the Kindle Android application follows the same procedure and since May 5, it is obviously impossible to buy an ebook directly. However, the editorial staff did not encounter any difficulty in buying an ebook.
The question then arises of determining whether this change comes into effect only in the United States, or worldwide: a new version, stamped 126.96.36.199, is currently being deployed for the Kindle app, but does not seem to be associated with this limitation, notes Ars Technical.
From shepherd toapp-shepherdess
In addition, and this responds step by step to the operation and rules imposed by Apple, the Kindle Android app suggests, instead of the sale price, to go directly to Amazon.com. A manipulation that the user must perform by hand: the presence of a link directly to the site would violate Google’s billing conditions. Just as it contravened those of Apple.
What intrigues technophiles is that Google, in March 2022, presented a pilot program to developers: the latter can use their own billing system, so as not to have to use Google’s. However, Spotify is one of the beta testers of the tool, but not Amazon. To encourage developers to stay in the Google environment, billing went from 30% with external tools to 15% with the Google in-house solution.
In addition, Google’s Media Experience Program even allows access to a tax of only 10% – but again, Amazon clearly does not have access to this solution.
READ: Antitrust: Kobo sues Apple in Europe
Will the procedure lead to the same lawsuit that Epic Games brought to Apple in 2021, denouncing the monopoly exercised on the App Store, the billings and the constraints endured? Possible, probable and even certain: legal proceedings are currently targeting both Google and Apple, from users for whom these charges are unfair.
In 2021, the State of Mobile 2022 report indicated, some $170 billion was spent on app stores. There remains one fact to keep in mind: the ebook segment has been rising in the United States since 2020 and the pandemic. Last year, it posted a decline of 4.7%, returning to the trend observed for several years: proof, it only weighs $ 1.1 billion against $ 1.94 billion in 2019, indicated the Association of American Publishers.
photo credits: 12019 CC0