Apple’s 30% vig claims its first victim
Do me a favor. Go visit the iFlowReader website. You"l find the following message on the homepage:
Thank you for being one of our valued customers. We are writing to you today to make a very sad announcement. BeamItDown Software and the iFlow Reader will cease operations as of May 31, 2011. We absolutely do not want to do this, but Apple has made it completely impossible for anyone but Apple to make a profit selling contemporary ebooks on any iOS device. We cannot survive selling books at a loss and so we are forced to go out of business. We bet everything on Apple and iOS and then Apple killed us by changing the rules in the middle of the game. This is a very sad day for innovation on iOS in this important application category. We are a small company that thought we could build a better product. We think that we did but we are powerless against Apple’s absolute control of the iOS platform.
This is only going to be the first.
I told you yesterday that Apple opened up a loophole for "read only" apps. Well, I’ve since been told that Apple didn’t tell everyone about the new rule. In fact, I’m not sure all the relevant people inside Apple know about it.
BeamItDown Software is clearly one of the developers who either weren’t told about the loophole or they weren’t allowed to use it. Neither surprises me.
The reading app selection could get mighty thin come June; that’s when the smaller ebookstores will all have to shut their doors. Even if they can survive under the new rule, the smaller ebookstores might not want to. They’ve already had to cope with Apple’s capriciousness once, and I’m sure a fair number can’t afford to run the risk of Apple pulling this crap a second time.
via Mike Cane