On Tuesday afternoon, Apple publicly admitted that it did, in fact, block the inclusion of the Sony Reader App from the Apple App Store. And the folks in Cupertino, California are offering no apologies for the move, despite widespread backlash over the decision to block access to the popular app.
In a comment released to John Paczkowski of the Wall Street Journal‘s Digital Daily, Apple is not changing the rules. It’s just enforcing those already in place.
“We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,” Apple spokesperson Trudy Miller said. “We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.”
“In other words,” Paczkowski adds, “you don’t have to buy books, or music, or other media that you consume on iOS apps from Apple. But developers must offer you the option of buying that stuff through Apple.” Consequently, Apple’s new enforcement posturing suggests that Apple is either making a bigger revenue grab in the mobile app space, or that the digital giant is seeking to cultivate an “iOS ecosystem much less pleasant for some outsiders.”
The far-reaching ramifications of this enforcement could be significant, particularly for Amazon and Barnes & Noble, both of which currently have their ereader apps in the Apple App Store. But until we see just how far Apple will press the issue, uncertainly will continue to loom large.