Apple says you will sell via App Store or not sell at all

Book sellers forced to remove Apple in-app store links

A number of booksellers have updated their iPhone apps to remove links to their own book stores as part of an Apple crack down.

In February Apple unveiled their own App Store content subscription/purchase system and in the process demanded that all other publishers must pay a 30 per cent commission to Apple, not offer content cheaper outside of the App Store and most not provide a direct link to an external store.

Last month Apple backed off on some of the more draconian aspects of the subscription revenue land grab, allowing publishers different pricing outside of the App store and allowing publishers to provide a different range of content for their own devices (such as the Amazon Kindle) than the iOS application.

One element that publishers took into their own hands is the requirement that applications should not link publisher’s own retail stores from the application. To date this hasn’t been enforced by Apple but it now seems they’ve decided to do just that.

Book retailers Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo as well as newspaper the Wall Street Journal have all moved remove any links to their own stores, or in-app stores based on their own mobile web stores.

"We remain concerned that Apple’s own subscription [rules] would create a poor experience for our readers, who would not be able to directly manage their WSJ account or to easily access our content across multiple platforms," a Journal representative said.

As likely publishers are simply annoyed with the 30 per cent revenue cut as well as opt-in rules for customer details which would see publishers not knowing who their customers are.

In Barns and Nobel’s new iOS Nook App update, version 2.1.2 says: "You can read any NOOK Book you have purchased on this updated Nook for iPhone app, however the Shop link has been removed so to buy Nook Books from your iPhone, open your Safari browser and go to 

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