Apple Blocks Sony Reader from App Store

Apple is at the center of controversy Tuesday surrounding the alleged ban of Sony’s Reader App from the Apple App Store.

Given the imposed requirement from the Cupertino, California-based tech giant that all e-book purchases must go through Apple, the latest major app rejection represents a deviation from Apple’s recent greater showing of leniency with regard to App Store access by competing products.

The New York Times is reporting that Steve Haber, the president of Sony’s digital reading division, says the Sony Reader App was denied because it would allow users to download e-books from the Sony Reader Store, not Apple’s iBooks.

The move comes as a surprise, given that other popular e-reader apps – like the Kindle and Nook apps – have been allowed in the Apple Apple Store.

The move could affect companies like and others that sell e-book readers that compete with Apple’s iPad tablet and offer free mobile apps so customers can read their e-book purchases on other devices. An iPad owner, for instance, has not needed to own a Kindle to read Kindle books bought from Amazon. That may now change.

“It’s the opposite of what we wanted to bring to the market,” Haber told the New York Times. “We always wanted to bring the content to as many devices as possible, not one device to one store.”

For now, Apple is declining comment as the digital publishing world effectively holds it breath.