The Amazon Kindle app for iOS saw one of the biggest updates to the app recently. The new application sports a cleaner interface and many other new options for managing the look and feel of the reading interface. Also, there is now deeper integration with the Goodreads social book reading community. However, one feature that is still missing: buying books.
When you look for a specific book in the app, the search result takes you to a product page. On that page you will see three options, one is “Send a free sample,” another is “Add to list: and the last is “How can I read this book?”. When you tap “How can I read this book?”, You get an explanation that says you can buy the book from Amazon. Unfortunately, that involves using a browser and buying the book. This behavior is quite different from the Kindle app on Android, where you can buy a book with one click. Amazon’s response:
“We would love to offer the ability to sell Kindle books directly through Kindle for iOS, but we’d need acceptable business terms first,”
The standoff dates back to when Steve Jobs was still at Apple and set a 30% cut from all sales through apps. When Amazon has to pay royalties to authors and publishers, it becomes uneconomical to give %30 of revenue.
Sadly, in the short term, there appears to be no solution to the issue, with Apple sticking to its app store policies. There could be potential antitrust action looming from other players in the streaming music industry who say Apple favors its Apple Music service since others have to give the same %30 cut of sales.