Apple Changes Rules For E-Book Sales
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
NPR's Lynn Neary has that story.
LYNN NEARY: Apple issued a statement saying there had been no change in its policy. James McQuivey, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, says, technically, that's true, but...
JAMES MCQUIVEY: There went from being no policy to there being a policy, and now the policy is being enforced. And we assume that enforcement will reach back to include Amazon at some point.
NEARY: In fact, says McQuivey, this has implications for all retailers with an app. McQuivey says Apple has come to a new realization of the moneymaking potential of its popular devices.
MCQUIVEY: They have a platform on which people are desperate to provide content because it gives them a way to make money, and Apple thinks, well, fair enough, we're going to collect a toll as you cross over our bridge to the consumer.
NEARY: But Peter Meyers, author of "The Best iPad Apps" guidebook, says consumers may ultimately benefit from Apple's move.
PETER MEYERS: Because they no longer have to go to a website, to Amazon.com, for example, and they'll be able to buy books directly within the app. And at the end of day, that means that you buy your books within the app, and you read your books within the app. So, ultimately, I think the whole reading and shopping experience is going to be better for consumers.
NEARY: There is always the possibility that Amazon or Barnes & Noble and other e-book retailers might balk and withdraw their apps, but Meyers thinks that's unlikely.
MEYERS: Mainly because Amazon has spent a considerable amount of money and time over the past year advancing this message that you can buy a book from them and then read it anywhere you want. So if they had to pull their app or if they decided to pull their app, you're talking about tens of millions of people who wouldn't be able to read their books.
NEARY: Lynn Neary, NPR News, Washington.
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