Apple clamps down on eBook apps

Apple is set to ban developers from selling eBooks directly through their applications.

Apple clamps down on eBook apps

Apple has reportedly rejected a Sony iPhone app that would have let consumers buy and read eBooks bought from the Sony Reader Store on the handsets, a New York Times story said.

We always wanted to bring the content to as many devices as possible, not one device to one store

Sony told the newspaper that Apple had said that all future in-app purchases would have to go through Apple, in a move that could fragment the market and lead to confusion over what devices could be used for which services.

“It’s the opposite of what we wanted to bring to the market,” said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division. “We always wanted to bring the content to as many devices as possible, not one device to one store.”

Apple has so far not returned requests for comment, but the move could have far-reaching implications for the eBook market. For example, iPad owners can use a free app to buy and read Kindle books from the Amazon store.

Amazon earlier this week said sales of its Kindle books had surpassed paperbacks in the first weeks of the year, highlighting the earning potential that Apple might like to see retained within its own store.

Russian rumblings

It’s the second Apple controversy in as many days after its iTunes store was accused of making several Russian films available without the consent of the copyright holders.

The popular films dated from the Soviet era and were being made available to download as smartphone apps, according to the BBC.

“It is illegal to present our films as applications either in iTunes or on any other internet site,” Svetlana Pyleva, Mosfilm’s deputy director general, told BBC Russia. “There are no third parties which we have permitted to use our content.”

The film companies involved were in talks with Apple about the issue.

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