Apple’s next step after digital content

Everyone’s talking right now about Apple extorting a 30% cut from developers who want to sell digital content on iOS. Sony’s app was bounced, as was Readability’s app. We’ve even heard that the ebook apps are going to go away at the end of June.

But have you considered what Apple’s next step will be? They’ll go after the streaming apps like Netflix and Pandora, of course, but that’s not what I’m thinking of.

Speaking of Netflix, I’ve asked them about the in-app option and got a very interesting no comment. I haven’t found any evidence yet that Apple are leaning on them, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. After all, we know that Pandora got an offer they can’t refuse, and like their apps the Netflix iOS app is a streaming app.

No, if Apple get away with it this time I know what they’ll do next.

Apple will try to extort a vig from the ecommerce apps. For example, Amazon have a shopping app for iOS. Apple will demand 30%. And FreshDirect also have an app. Apple will demand 30% of that, too.

I know that no one can afford to pay to pay the vig, but do you really think that will stop Apple?  None of the ebookstores can afford it the vig, and look where we are now.

If you’re thinking that this will kill iOS, you’re probably right. But I believe it will already be dead. If Apple don’t back down with the current situation, I expect a lot of developers to abandon iOS because Apple will have destroyed their trust.

What do you think?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Doug23 February, 2011

    I don’t know if it’ll cause the *developers* to abandon iOS, but it’ll probably cause the big companies that hire those developers to seriously reconsider whether the risk is worth it.

    1. Nate the great23 February, 2011

      A lot of developers are 1 man operations. They can’t take the risk of falling victim to Apple capriciousness, so yes I think they’ll abandon iOS.

  2. Rudolph Fentz23 February, 2011

    I only needed a gentle push to consider swapping my iPad for an Android, and this will be a shove. I’d never bought a Kindle book before the iPad came along, and now my choice of gadget will hinge on the existence of a Kindle app after June.

  3. Sherri23 February, 2011

    The thing I don’t get is, where is Apple going with this? What do they hope to accomplish by driving away app developers? Digital content is a low-margin sales enviroment; why would they threaten their presumably higher-margin hardware sales by big-footing the digitial content, especially when they can’t even offer an alternative to most of that content?

    What’s their end game here?

    1. Nate the great23 February, 2011

      Welcome to the club. No one understands it.

  4. papataka23 February, 2011

    The end game is simple: apple wants to get rid of all middle men, aggregator like zinio, scoop, etc won’t have 30% to give apple, but publisher/ content producers will.

    Take for example the daily by ruppert murdoch. He support apple 100%. For the first 6 months, the daily will be available only in iOS.

    Too bad for apple, there are android to save the world.

  5. elmar23 February, 2011

    Remember the old days of the commercial where “I am a Mac…..”? Now Apple is the big boy and does not hesitate to let you know it. I cannot wait for the RIM Playbook!

  6. Tyler23 February, 2011

    I don’t listen to Pandora but I do listen to Slacker Radio. I use Fandango to get my movie listings. I have the app on my phone to run chess turns. I have bought things from All of these have monetary aspects to them and all seem to me to be threatened by Apple.

    I can see come this time next year, I will have an android phone and will no longer be using my ipod. I already have a creative labs player to replace that.

    Good riddance to bad apples.

  7. Mrawhimskell klaar1 March, 2011

    In the final analysis, when the roll is called we’ll be weighed not by our income but on how we expended ourselves FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS.

    The old adage still stands true, “The LOVE of money is the root of all evils”

    Beware of false profits friends!


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