It’s kind of like that song lyric, “Do a little dance, make a little love/get down tonight.” Except in this case the little dance is Amazon’s tricky runaround of Apple’s app restrictions, the love-making is a free sample of an e-book and getting down tonight is well, reading, I suppose. Amazon has pulled off a neat trick with its latest update to the Kindle iOS app in order to skirt Apple’s rules about in-app purchases.
As the rules stand now, Apple doesn’t let any apps sell products within the program unless that company — Amazon in this case — doles out a 30% cut of the profits, as explained by The Next Web. Why would Amazon want to do that when it’s already paying book publishers?
It doesn’t want to do that, but rules are rules. Instead of having customers have to jump out of the app to the Amazon site to get a book on their phones, Amazon’s little wiggle dance now includes the ability to search for free samples of books in the app. Once you’ve finished reading the sample, a “Before you go…” option pops up like it would on a Kindle and gives users the option to email themselves a link to purchase the full book.
Previously, the app would only allow readers to search through their own libraries. If you wanted to buy a book, off you’d go to the web browser and type in the name of the book on Amazon’s site. This way is a lot more streamlined.
So there you have it. Apple is outwiggled, Amazon is free of any 30% tithes, and you’re on your way to reading that new book by that one writer everyone is talking about.
At least for now — Apple hasn’t spoken up on whether this actually is a violation of its rules, but we’ll update this story if it issues a response to Amazon’s smooth moves.
*Thanks for the tip, Ed!