Kobo, Kindle remove e-book stores from iOS apps
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Kobo, Kindle remove e-book stores from iOS apps

Faced with the choice of following Apple’s new App Store rules which, in its simplest terms would require both booksellers to give a Apple 30% cut of in-app purchases, the two leading e-book sellers have chosen to remove the store from their iOS apps. Users of the Kobo and Kindle apps on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad will have to open Safari and surf to the appropriate book store to browse the bookshelves and make a purchase.

With this update Kobo has added a Kobo News feed..which will provide a way for Kobo to steer clients to its bookstore while complying with Apple’s new rules.

eReader apps for Android, RIM, WebOS and PC devices will contrinue to feature the integrated bookstore. This change was brought about by Apple’s requirement  that if an app offers the facility to buy books outside of the app (on the web) the same offer has to be available in the app via the app store. That would mean that Apple will take 30% of all revenue for Apple iPad in-app purchases.

Obviously Kobo and Amazon have decided they do not wish to give Apple a piece of their action..a piece, by the way big enough that it would seriouly impact the profitabality of both bookstores and certainly require a price increase.

What do you think of this development? Will you be bothered by the need to go to the web store to make purchases? Will it affect your book purchases in any way? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.


Bob Benedetti

<p>Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal</p>

  • Jacques Carrier

    It is 9:30pm and I just clicked on the “shop in kindle store” link in the kindle App of my iPad and it took me to the Kindle store….
    So I don’t get it. Is the change only in the US?

    July 25, 2011 at 9:30 pm Reply
    • Bob Benedetti

      It won’t change until you apply the “upgrade” that is waiting for you in the app store.

      July 25, 2011 at 9:32 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Ferguson via Facebook

    I blasted Kobo over this – and got the “we were just following orders” schtick. Terrible business decision.

    July 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm Reply
  • Bob Benedetti via Facebook

    Unfortunately it was either that or raise prices..30% would have been a big chunk of their income.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm Reply
  • Euan Mason

    This really is a sad development for users. We generally have to shop around to find an e-store that has a particular book, and so far my experience with the Kobo upgrade has been terrible. I purchased a book, they debited my credit card, and I have yet to be able to read the book. The version that was loaded into my ipad was a preview with all the chapters locked. I deleted that version and there does not seem to be a facility to get the full version of the book into my Kobo reader. Apple, Kindle and Kobo have trashed users’ experiences in their smutty rat race for profits. My next pad will be an Android.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:21 am Reply
    • Bob Benedetti

      It is going to be interesting to see how this is all going to play out..depending on consumer reaction I suspect Amazon and Kobo may move to a HTML5 web app and cut Apple out of the picture entirely. Regarding your purchase..have you tried logging off Kobo in the iPad ap then log back on. That worked for me (well before this upgrade) forcing the download of the correct version of the book. If that fails contact Kobo help..I have found them to be pretty responsive. Thanks for your comment

      July 26, 2011 at 9:58 am Reply
  • Ruff rob

    It’s an inconvenience to have to exit now but since apple is being such corporate bullies I will only buy from kindle and kobo not iBooks.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:59 am Reply
    • Bob Benedetti

      For me that has always been an easy choice…there is very little choice on iBooks and many of their titles are not available in Canada.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:01 am Reply
  • Stewart

    I have been debating the os choice for my next tablet. This seals it, android it is!

    July 26, 2011 at 10:16 am Reply
  • Jennifer Ferguson via Facebook

    Everything else about their app is fabulous IMHO so I will stay with them despite the whining (LOL). I guess their calculation is that most users will make the same calculation as I did. Interesting that (as I understand it) Netflix is facing a backlash for ADDING features (streaming) and then raising prices.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm Reply
  • Paul

    I don’t really have a problem with Kobo and Kindle removing the button in app. With Kindle the button took you to Safari and to the Kindle site anyway. But my issue with Kobo now is that there is no way (that I can figure out) to download a sample. There’s no sample button on the website. But moreover even before they removed the button and I could download samples, the samples were so short that by the time you got through the table of contents, the forward, the dedications, the blank pages etc., the sample was over and I never got to even read a sample of the actual book. Did anyone else notice this problem? And does anyone know if you can still download samples from the site?

    August 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm Reply
    • Bob Benedetti

      You can still sample by clicking on the book which takes you to the BUY page. There is a Read Now button under the cover art on the left. If you click on it you will get a sample. The size I think depends on the publisher..I have seen samples as low as 300 words and as high as 8,000 words. Maybe Kobo will offer some insight here.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm Reply

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