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Amazon Sidesteps App Store Business Model, Plays Back MP3s From Safari 114

Posted by timothy
from the cutting-out-the-apple-man dept.
Press2ToContinue writes "Amazon has found a simple way around Apple's tight-fisted App Store rules: give users a web app to buy MP3s that runs in Safari. This way, they have no need to pay 30% per tune to Apple. Freedom of choice of vendor in Apple-only territory? Is this a big breach of Apple's walled garden? I wonder if Apple with have a response to this."
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Amazon Sidesteps App Store Business Model, Plays Back MP3s From Safari

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  • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2013 @09:26AM (#42633247)

    We'll see Apple changing the rules to ban it.

    There... that wasn't hard was it.

  • by stevenh2 (1853442) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @09:28AM (#42633251)
    When the iPhone came out, there was no third-party native apps. People were expected to build web apps.
  • by irtza (893217) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @09:31AM (#42633257) Homepage

    I am sure amazon does not have the same contract as the small time developer and it will come down to licensing terms. They had to pull the link from within their old app before http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/amazon-others-cave-to-apple-on-in-app-purchases-today-html5-tomorrow/53116 [zdnet.com] so it was just a matter of time that they made it easy to purchase the apps on a phone conveniently. I don't see how this should even fall under terms of their license but I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't some broad reaching terms in the contract that apple will try to use as leverage.

  • No Breach (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timmyf2371 (586051) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @09:42AM (#42633287)
    A bit of a sensationalist summary, but this is absolutely not a breach of the walled garden; the App Store rules and guidelines only apply for apps which are published in the App Store.

    Web apps, due to their very nature, are not covered by these guidelines and I suspect Apple isn't bothered by this. It's no different than buying a Kindle book via a web page and then downloading & reading it within the Kindle app itself.
  • by Archibald Buttle (536586) <{ku.oc.oohay} {ta} {7smis_evets}> on Saturday January 19, 2013 @09:48AM (#42633313)

    Apple will have no response to this, and nor should they.

    This is exactly the path that Apple have been telling companies they should follow if they wish to sell media outside of the iOS app store.

    Amazon are simply following Apple's own guidance.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2013 @09:54AM (#42633343)

    And Safari will be broken In 3... 2... 1... At least that's what would happen when Steve was alive. Along with an explanation that the Amazon Web app was compromising stability and user experience. 'People don't want Amazon web app stores. People want iTunes.'

  • by dakohli (1442929) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @10:46AM (#42633515)

    Isn't the main purpose of the iTunes Music Store to sell iOS hardware? If I recall, doesn't most of the 30% of Apple's cut go into running the store?

    Apple is predominantly a hardware company, and they want people to buy their hardware. If the main purpose of their music/app stores is to sell the hardware then why would it matter where people actually get their music/apps from? Amazon is just giving people another reason to get an iOS device. They now have more options for their music purchases. Win/Win.

    This may have been the case when it all started, but at some point, Apple realized the earning potential to monetize the entire experience. They provide the Hardware, and the mechanism to provide Apps, as well as provide the content. It is not in Apple's best interests to allow the user to acquire content through other sources. Period.

    ITunes is central to Apple's system of consumption. Through this one interface, users can get all the content they would ever need. It is the easiest way to get content onto your iPhone, or Ipod. It is fairly trivial to get videos and songs into Itunes without purchasing it through Apple although many Users will never really do it on a large scale because it involves a couple of extra steps.

    Apple can claim all day long that they are just a Hardware Company, but I haven't believed that for a long time.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @11:03AM (#42633565)

    Indeed. The question of whether this is a breach of the walled garden is stupid.

    One might also note that people have been playing music from YouTube from the start. For free.

  • by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @11:47AM (#42633739)

    And Safari will be broken In 3... 2... 1... At least that's what would happen when Steve was alive.

    That would be the same Steve that told everybody that the official way of getting apps onto the iPhone was through web apps when he first launched it?

    Mobile Safari and web apps have always been a vital part of the iPhone. It changed the mobile web landscape completely, because it was the first popular mobile phone with a desktop-class web browser built in. Your revisionist history implying that Steve would happily throw Mobile Safari under the bus to hurt a competitor is at odds with history.

    Along with an explanation that the Amazon Web app was compromising stability and user experience.

    Presumably you are referring to mobile Flash. I think it's abundantly clear that this was actually the case and not an anti-competitive move. Even Android and Adobe dropped mobile Flash.

  • by Cinder6 (894572) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @04:44PM (#42635191)

    Why? Amazon's been doing this since day one with the Kindle app. This article is anything but news, as people (including Amazon) have been sidestepping in-app purchases for ages.

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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