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Here’s how Apple is forcing a worse user experience on its customers

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July 27, 2011 1:58:33 PM



Here’s how Apple is forcing a worse user experience on its customers


Amazon just updated its Kindle app for the iPhone and iPad to remove an important function: The link to its Kindle store where you can go to buy new e-books. Now, Apple device owners will have to figure out on their own that they need to go to Amazon’s website in their Safari browser to buy stuff to read with their Kindle app.

This is a worse customer experience. Amazon’s service — and Apple’s devices — are now slightly harder and clumsier to use. And it’s Apple’s fault.

From now on, the new rule is that if developers want to sell virtual goods and subscriptions that don’t go through Apple’s in-app iTunes commerce system — which forks over a 30% cut to Apple and puts developers at risk of patent lawsuits — they aren’t allowed to link to those other e-commerce stores in their apps anymore.

To comply with Apple’s new rule, Amazon had to remove a useful feature from the Kindle app, making it harder to use. Now, while Apple is fighting to win its moral battle — and perhaps winning another way by pushing people toward its own stores, like iTunes and iBooks — its customers are the ones losing.

One argument I’ve heard is that Apple is, in theory, acting in the customer’s best long-term interest here: iTunes is an easier payment method than Amazon’s Kindle store, so Apple should try to pressure companies to use iTunes for everything over the long run. You know, starve the losers and feed the winners.

But that argument doesn’t hold up in reality. Amazon doesn’t set its prices for e-books — book publishers do. There’s no realistic room in its business to give Apple a 30% cut. Maybe 5%, but not 30%. Same goes for many other services. So using iTunes is a non-starter.

And in the case of the Kindle app, you might be able to argue that its Android version now offers a better, easier user experience than its iPhone version. That’s not the sort of thing Apple should want people to be hearing.


How Do You Feel About This?

techmeme.com
July 27, 2011 10:38:02 PM

I think apple have taken a step in the wrong direction with this one.
Like you say - the customer experience is less because of it.

That said, I use Stanza to read all my e-books and I always loaded them via iTunes anyway, so it won't really effect how I read e-books going forward.

My view is - it wasn't broke so why "fix it"

:-)
July 27, 2011 11:59:06 PM

Yeah i agree,and that 30% cut is way out of line!
July 28, 2011 10:09:39 AM

Apple is making money hand over fist. Which is got to be at least one of their primary goals. Folks forget that Apple is not here to make you and I happy...or to be fair. They have a duty to their shareholders to make as much money as possible. I'd say they're fulfilling that requirement. Apple is not nice. ...nor should they be. Consumers always have the option to vote with their wallets. I do.
July 28, 2011 2:25:54 PM

Fortunately Apple is probably migrating into providing phones and tablets and TV shows and away from real computers. They seem to do better with the phones and such than they do with computers so this migration will benefit everybody.
July 28, 2011 3:41:05 PM

cadder said:
Fortunately Apple is probably migrating into providing phones and tablets and TV shows and away from real computers. They seem to do better with the phones and such than they do with computers so this migration will benefit everybody.


I don't see Apple getting out of the computer market anytime soon. They have no reason to as there's a demand for what they offer. Outside of Sony (and maybe Asus), few other PC manufacturers seem to care about product design to the degree that Apple does. ...and I don't think anyone's got the hardware/software synergy that Apple does. I think they'll be in that market for a good while.
July 30, 2011 2:55:19 AM

halcyon said:
I don't see Apple getting out of the computer market anytime soon. They have no reason to as there's a demand for what they offer. Outside of Sony (and maybe Asus), few other PC manufacturers seem to care about product design to the degree that Apple does. ...and I don't think anyone's got the hardware/software synergy that Apple does. I think they'll be in that market for a good while.
100% agree with you.Apple is going no where as far as computer manufacturers.Lenovo and Acer are no where in this market at all.
July 30, 2011 12:30:23 PM

Wouldn't it be more relevant to compare Apple with the market leaders, Dell and HP?
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