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Amazon Turns Off In-App Purchases In iOS Comixology 244

whisper_jeff writes: "Under the bold assumption that, since they were able to do it with books, they must be able to do it with comics, Amazon has decided to avoid Apple's 30% cut of in app purchases by removing the option from digital comic book platform Comixology for iOS users. It will be interesting to see if digital comic readers leap through the extra hoops to read digital comics on their iOS device or if Amazon has just signed the death knell for their new purchase. Readers may decide that buying a book and buying a comic aren't the same thing — that the extra hoops they're being forced to leap through simply aren't worth it for a comic that takes five minutes to read."
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Amazon Turns Off In-App Purchases In iOS Comixology

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  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @11:39PM (#46851105)

    In app purchases pay a 30% fee to Apple to payment processing, etc. Purchases made outside the app (ie: at a developer's website such as do not incur the 30% fee.

    It's up to each developer to decide if the 30% fee is worth the ease of use and Apple handling all the payment processing or not. The vast, vast, vast majority of developers happily pay that fee. Amazon is the one high profile developer to buck that trend, first with Kindle and now with Comixology.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @11:40PM (#46851111)

    I thought that any bolt-ons for apps had to be sold through the Apple Store so they could collect their 30% cut.

    You can sell things externally to unlock features - for instance there are many applications for websites that require a paid subscription to work.

    What you can't do is provide a link in the app that takes you directly to a purchasing page to work wrounf the in-app thing.

    Honestly tough, I've always thought it was a pretty fair trade-off to pay 30% to gan access to many millions of people who already have payment details entered and ready to go at the press of a button.

    I'm pretty sure Comixology will lose far more in sales than they would gain by not giving away 30%, I've bought a number of things in the app but if I can't I simply will not bother to figure out how I can get them.

    I do think it's a precursor to Amazon folding Comixology into the Kindle application, then it would be easier for people to make use of to buy comics as they already do books for the Kindle app. In that case I don't think they will lose many sales (though that's long term and I've not heard they plan to do so yet).

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @12:17AM (#46851277)

    Or Google. []

    And virtually everyone else that offers payment processing services

    Sorry - you were attempting to imply that Apple was akin to the Mafia because they charge the same rate as everyone else for the same service. As you were.

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @12:22AM (#46851297)

    Not allowed. If an in app purchase is offered and the same purchase is available on an external source, the price of the in app purchase cannot be higher.

  • by Gavagai80 ( 1275204 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @12:43AM (#46851341) Homepage

    And virtually everyone else that offers payment processing services

    Only in mobile app walled gardens. PayPal, 2checkout, etc only take about 3%.

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <> on Sunday April 27, 2014 @02:50AM (#46851633)

    Honestly, one of the great things about comixology was being able to quickly buy/download the next comic in the series when I was binge-reading. I have *hundreds* of comics through them, but I'm not sure if I will be buying any more with this new system. The kindle thing was enough of a pain, but at least a book takes a little longer to read.

    I think they've shot themselves in teh foot on this one.

    And you know what? Comixology knew that, that's why they sucked it up and gave Apple the 30% (though to be honest, the wholesale price Comixology paid meant they still made a profit - even raw comic books that sell for $4 probably cost the store $2 or less). Because by making the user jump through hoops to buy it to get that extra 30% means they'll lose the impulse-buy. And impulse-buy is big - for every person willing to jump through a hoop, 10-20 would just do one-click purchasing (just ask Amazon - if One-Click didn't work, why bother suing B&N over it?), making that 30% easily justifiable.

    And no, Amazon won't sell it online any cheaper - they can't. Diamond Comics (the SOLE comic distributor for practically ALL comics worldwide) has a virtual monopoly on it, and they view any reseller that undercuts others (comic stores) very dimly. The only time it doesn't matter is when the items are available through other channels (e.g., most books). But comics are Diamond's property and someone who undercuts may find their orders shorted, especially on items that are often allocated.

  • by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @02:55AM (#46851643)

    I know for video that's pretty much the entire profit margin. Apple basically doesn't want any competition to iTunes so they have priced out TVOD/music competitors completely.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @04:09AM (#46851755) Homepage

    So, you love the service but not enough just to go to a web site and buy it for 30% (or so) less than you have been paying now?

    That's a rather optimistic assumption.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun