A sad tale – iFlow Reader shutting down; they say Apple killed them; how to preserve your books

The following is the full text of an email I received this evening from iFlowreader.  The graphic is theirs, too:

iFlow Reader

Thank you for being one of our valued customers. We are writing to you today to make a very sad announcement. BeamItDown Software and the iFlow Reader will cease operations as of May 31, 2011. We absolutely do not want to do this, but Apple has made it completely impossible for almost anyone but Apple to make a profit selling contemporary ebooks on any iOS device. We cannot survive selling books at a loss and so we are forced to go out of business. We bet everything on Apple and iOS and then Apple killed us by changing the rules in the middle of the game. This is a very sad day for innovation on iOS in this important application category. We are a small company that thought we could build a better product. We think that we did but we are powerless against Apple’s absolute control of the iOS platform.

The first of this letter part tells you what actions that you must take before the end of May to protect the books that you have. For those of you who are interested, the second part of this letter explains in detail what happened to us and why we are forced to shutdown.

Actions you need to take before May 31, 2011 to protect your books

Many of you have purchased books and would like to keep them. You may still be able to read them using iFlow Reader although we cannot guarantee that it will work beyond May 31, 2011. We suggest that you download all of your books to your devices and then do a backup with iTunes. This should allow you to restore them if you change devices. We also strongly recommend that you go to our website and download all of your books to your computer which will let you access them with Adobe Digital Editions or any other ebook application that is compatible with Adobe DRM protected epubs. To do this, you will first have to have Adobe Digital Editions running on your computer. This is available for free at:

Once you have done this, go to our website at, log in, and then go to My Books. There, you can select a book and then select “Read on My Computer” and then “Download”. This will download a small file with the extension “acsm”. You can double click on this file and it should “fulfill” and put a copy of the epub in your Adobe Digital Editions Library. You should then back these files up from your computer. These actions will allow you continued access to your books with Adobe Digital Editions, however, all server-based features of the iFlowReader will unfortunately stop working when we shutdown. There will also be other changes:

  • iFlow Reader will no longer be supported and updated. Existing installations may not work in future releases of iOS.
  • We will no longer be selling ebooks from our app or website. Our Website will be gone so you will no longer be able to access it import books or download your books to your devices or examine any of your bookmarks.
  • You will not be able to download library books.
  • You will not be able to Sync between devices, and user defined bookmarks will not appear on other devices, only the one where they were created.
  • We will no longer be offering any apps in the iTunes App Store.

Why Do We Have to Shutdown?

The crux of the matter is that Apple is now requiring us, as well as all other ebook sellers, to give them 30% of the selling price of any ebook that we sell from our iOS app. Unfortunately, because of the “agency model” that has been adopted by the largest publishers, our gross margin on ebooks after paying the wholesaler is less than 30%, which means that we would have to take a loss on all ebooks sold. This is not a sustainable business model.

Where did the agency model come from and what is it? The agency model was created by Apple who made it a requirement for any publisher who wished to sell books through Apple’s iBooks app. The agency model has three key points:

  • The publisher is now the retailer of record. The company selling the eBook to the end user is an “agent” of the retailer who receives a commission on the sale.
  • All sales agents are required to sell books at the same retail price, which is set by the publisher. No one can sell at a different price.
  • All sales agents get a 30% commission on the sale of a book. No one gets a different deal. Prior to the agency model, publishers typically offered retailers a 50% discount.

The key point here is that all sellers now get a 30% commission and Apple now wants a 30% fee, which is all of our gross margin and then some. The six largest publishers have now all adopted the agency model. These publishers account for nearly 90% of all ebooks sold. Random House was the last publisher to adopt the agency model, which they did on March 1 of this year. You may have noticed that all 17,000 Random House titles disappeared from our catalog on February 28. They appeared in Apple’s iBooks catalog the following day. We, as well as all other small booksellers, have yet to complete an agency agreement with Random House. Up until February 28, these were our most profitable items because we were still getting a 50% discount on these ebooks. With an eight-hour notice, all of these titles disappeared from our store as well as the stores of all other small ebook sellers.

Five of us spent nearly a year and a half of our lives and over a million dollars in cash and sweat equity developing the iFlowReader app with its unique AutoScrolling approach to reading that many of you really like. We think that our product is the best one available on iOS for reading ebooks. We had extensive plans to make it even better. We looked to the future of ebooks for inspiration while Apple and others were looking at the printed books of the past. This explains the cute, but gratuitous page turning animations, and old-timey bookshelves, which are all very amusing at first, but not very useful in the end.

We sent a letter to Apple VP Philip Schiller in September 2009 to confirm our business model. Apple told us they couldn’t guarantee anything – submit the application and they’d let us know after submission. We submitted our new iFlowReader app Apple in November of 2010 and they approved it a few days later. After approval, we made substantial additional investments in licensing fees, integration fees, and server fees so that we could open our ebook store on December 2, 2010. Two months later, Apple changed the rules and put us out of business. They now want 30% of the sale price of any books, which they know full well, is all of our profits and more. What sounds like a reasonable demand when packaged by Apple’s extraordinary public relations department is essentially an eviction notice to all ebook sellers on iOS. After over three years of developing products for iOS during which we had over six million downloads of our BeamItDown iFlowReader products, Apple is giving us the boot by making it financially impossible for us to survive. They want all of the eBook business on iOS and since they have the unilateral power to get it, we are out of business and the iFlow Reader is dead.

We put our faith in Apple and they screwed us. This happened even though we went to great lengths to clear our plans with Apple because we did not want to make this substantial investment of time and money blindly. Apple’s response to our detailed inquiries was to tell us that our plans did not infringe their rules in any way, which was true at the time, but there is one little catch. Apple can change the rules at any time and they did. Sadly they must have known full well that they were going to do this. Apple’s iBooks was already in development when we talked to them and they certainly must have known that their future plans would doom us to failure no matter how good our product was. We never really had a chance.

Thank You For Your Support

We greatly appreciate your patronage and we sincerely regret that we are forced to do this. We are sorry for any inconvenience that this causes. We had a great product and our customer list was growing daily. We were rapidly adding books to our catalog and we had plans to add many, many more by adding PDF support to the iFlowReader along with many other exciting features. We were also in the middle of discussions with OEM customers in many countries who wanted to license our technology in countries around the world. We had investors ready to invest money in our future. It was the American dream that we all strive for. Sadly, the America that we thought we were working in turned out to be a totalitarian regime and the dictator decided that he wanted all of what we had. Our dream is now over.

If you think that this move by Apple is contrary to your interests as an iOS user then we urge you to email a complaint to Apple by clicking on the link below:

Email to: Steve Jobs, Philip Schiller, and Developer Programs at Apple

If you have any questions about any of this, please send us an email

26 Comments on A sad tale – iFlow Reader shutting down; they say Apple killed them; how to preserve your books

  1. Alan Wallcraft // May 11, 2011 at 12:45 am //

    It is good that there is the Adobe ePub option, but if you have ebooks at iFlow note that you should register the desktop Adobe Digital Editions to your AdobeID (e.g. the same one you use for iFlow) before downloading your ebooks. If you don’t do this the ebooks are locked to a single computer. The iFlow FAQ covers this.

    Books on Board has good help on how to install desktop Adobe Digital Editions. Navigate to PC ebooks (or Mac ebooks) and then to Adobe Digital Editions.

  2. Common Sense // May 11, 2011 at 1:44 am //

    I will never purchase or use an Apple product. I don’t like the way they do business and never have.

    It’s too bad iFlow can’t do a quick port to Android.

  3. Like adversity, growing wealth often reveals someone’s real character, whether good or bad. Some people (and organizations) get more generous as they grow richer. I’ve watched over the last couple of years and grow discouraged as Apple seems to grow nastier and greedier. They have tens of billions in cash reserves and now top many corporate rankings, but even that isn’t enough. Like a penniless miser suddenly grown rich, they seem to think they have to squeeze every last penny out of developers who spent their life savings supporting Apple’s products–except in this case by trying to take too much they’ll get nothing for their meanness. Even the unrepentant Scrooge would have been embarrassed.

    If Apple’s real objective is to drive everyone else off the iOS, so the iBookstore can roll in the money, they may be mistaken. The iBookstore isn’t doing that well. I know. I’ve seen sales figures. Driving other ereaders away from iPads will only highlight how weak iBooks is compared to other products including Kindle apps and the entire and increasingly brilliant Amazon ebook ecosystem, whose rapid growth astonishes me.

    Apple may still sell some ebooks to people who don’t read that much, but there’s little money to be made there. Serious readers are where the money is and those with good incomes will buy both, but doing their book buying for their Kindles for numerous reasons. Serious readers with more limited means will opt for the Kindle and sigh with relief that they need not buy an iPad. What they save will go toward ebooks they buy from Amazon. Either way, Apple loses.

    And the price difference between the two is huge. My $114 Kindle 3 arrives tomorrow. If I’d gone with an iPad, the cheapest refurb, 1st generation iPad is $349, just over three times as much. Are there things the iPad can do that a Kindle can’t? Yes, but I’ve got a desktop and a laptop that can do everything an iPad can do and more.

    That Kindle 3 occupies a niche that nothing else can fill, especially since it will soon be able to check ebooks out of my public library. And since I have no desire to walk up and down my tiny apartment watching movies on an iPad, there’s no real gap it fills. I can sit and watch those movies just as easily on my TV, my iMac or my MacBook.

    Sadly, the developers of iFlowReader have no way to inflict a cost on Apple for this ill-treatment. But if Apple attempt to do the same with Amazon, which now seems likely, they may pay a heavy price.

    Bezos could decide to let the Kindle compete with iPads. Amazon could easily add useful apps to their Kindles, cutting significantly into the iPad’s turf. The Kindle’s only real limitation is a gray-scale screen that updates slowly and that’s less a barrier than many think. Add drivers for Bluetooth keyboards, and the only real deficiency of the Kindle hardware would be remedied.

    Amazon could also invest in features faster than Apple can imitate. They’re adding library checkout, which I never thought I’d see. They can adapt Kindles for schools and universities, allowing teachers to manage the documents each student gets and add their own notes. They could also add features for book clubs, so people thousands of miles apart could read a book together. Amazon has only just begun to touch the potential of their little gadget.

    Heck, they might even open up the Kindle to other bookstores through their existing WiFi/email document transfer system. If they charged 10% of retail for their transfer service, I suspect they’d get a lot of online bookstores interested, including speciality publishers (such as professional newsletters) that never publish through Amazon. (Even authors with a solid fan base could publish that way.) That’d be no different from what they now do with tens of thousands of products being sold through Amazon by dozens of other companies.

    The last move has an interesting result. The ultimate closed system, the Kindle, would end up open, while iPads would be as closed as a miser’s wallet.

    –Michael W. Perry, author of Untangling Tolkien

  4. Alas, the world is made of suckers, as I have repeatedly noted over the course of the past year or two. Unfortunately, the suckers are those who put their faith in Apple as the bright side, the knight in shining armor, the company that cares. Remember that it was the Agency 5 who thought Apple was going to be their knight in shining armor to prevent an Amazon monopoly. The Agency 5 gave Apple a toehold and now it has cost, yet again, the consumer as Apple went from toehold to foothold.

    But what amazes me more than Apple’s greedy ways — after all, Jobs has shown the signs of ravenous greed numerous times before, especially with his “let them eat cake” attitude — is that the people who are bemoaning Apple’s greedy ways think Bezos and Amazon will be their saviors. They just do not think or see — or perhaps more aptly state, refuse to think or see — that Bezos and Amazon are cut from the same mold as Jobs and Apple: It’s just that Apple was further along in the eco system and able to throw its weight around more quickly.

    Don’t lose sight of the fact that the true father of the agency system is not Apple but Amazon. Amazon tried to throw its weight around but didn’t have the grasp of the eco system like Apple, and gave Apple the opening, which the Agency 6 grabbed with open arms, thinking Apple would be their counterweight to Amazon’s greed. It was Bezos’ impatience, his refusal to let the ebook market mature longer under the original discount system before leaping to the $9.99 price point, that stoked the engine for Apple’s success.

    It is also worth noting that many of the same people who see Apple products as “must-have” and who only see the bright side of Apple, never the dark, also see Amazon and its Kindle as the “must-have” and “only” ebook eco system, again never seeing the potential for the dark side. Keep feeding the alligators and one day you will lose an arm.

  5. Oh boohoo, go try and sell your eBooks on the Kindle and see what happens there. Amazon has a big heart I am sure they will let you put your software on their KIndle to compete with their store and not have you pay a cent either. Oh well not Kindle huh? How about Nook I am sure Barnes & Noble has a big heart and will let you put your software on their Android Tablet… Not them either huh.

    Apple is no more a charity than Nook or Kindle and I cannot believe the comments I am seeing about how Amazon and Barnes & Noble are “better”. If you think that then you are a bigger fool than these guys were thinking they would never have to pay a dime to Apple while competing directly with them.

  6. This is why I always keep, what some people would call, “divided loyalties” when it comes to technology I love Macs for their laptops. I’m on my second now. But my phone runs Android and my ereader is a Sony.

  7. I will never buy a book from Apple until I’m sure that their drm has been broken (which, to the best of my knowledge it hasn’t yet). I don’t share books, but I do automatically break the drm because I don’t want to risk losing my books if some retailer goes out of business like this, or simply changes their minds about supporting my ebooks.

  8. Bruce Wilson // May 11, 2011 at 10:13 am //

    “Actions you need to take…to protect your books.” One more illustration that once purchased we don’t actually own the books, we only lease them. Bezos understood that and priced appropriately. Publishers want us to believe their fantasy that we bought them. but if we depend on any server or platform to read, we haven’t bought, and we can’t own.

    Steve Jobs real crime was to believe the publishers so he could make 30% on every buck. Well, perhaps “believe” isn’t the right word. Collude. Conspire. Act all Big Brother.

    Remember the Mac super bowl ad? It’s now Steve on the screen. Now where is that hot chick with the sledge hammer?

  9. So, they’re blaming Apple for having an unsustainable business model?

    Businesses fail all the time. How many people actually downloaded this app? From the few reviews and ratings (approx. 50% negative) apparently not enough to make a go of it.

    Other than their unique scrolling reading view, flashy appearance, and support for Adobe DRM, what makes them so special?

    How much demand is there for another app based ebook store?

  10. Felix Torres // May 11, 2011 at 10:33 am //

    @Andy: The point isn’t the iFlow couldn’t compete for customers, but rather that Apple decided by fiat that they won’t be *allowed* to compete for those customers. Which is perfectly acceptable if you believe, as Apple clearly does, that they *own* those customers and should be paid 30% of the retail price to be allowed to deal with Apple’s wholely-owned customer base.

    It’s that simple; if you want to milk Apple’s herd you have to pay Apple for that access.

    And when it comes to ebooks that payment, thanks to the Price-Fix Six, comes down to the 30% share that the publishers don’t take, leaving Apple’s would-be competitors with zero margin.

    And, since it was Apple that instigated the Price-Fix scheme in the first place, this is just phase two in their plan to milk the herd themselves.

  11. I’m always saddened when I see a channel or publisher decide to call it quits, even when they’re competitors. I agree that Kindle and Nook don’t allow other bookstores to set up. They also don’t position themselves as general purpose computing devices. How would we feel if Microsoft announced that anyone using Windows would now have to pay a 30% commission on all purchases? Seems to me that Apple may be trying to milk cash cow while they can.

    Rob Preece

  12. Maybe Kindle doesn’t let you shop at other stores through their wifi connection, but I have no problem getting books from other retailers for my kindle, as long as they’re in mobi or prc format. I’m worried that eventually Apple is going to make a technological change so that their units will only read books purchased through them, and their ipods will only play music purchased through them – in which case, I’ll abandon my beloved iPod nano without a qualm.

  13. It is quite a long time since I have read a more shameful and childish excuse for going out of business.

    The expectation that they can use the Apple iOS and Apple gear as a free conduit to customers is naive beyond imagination, and I have absolutely zero sympathy for them. This appears to me to be a group of people who created a business model without thinking about the nuts and bolts of their model, without thinking about the future, expecting a free ride on all iOS devices, and now find themselves behind the eight ball.

    Have they asked Amazon why they can’t sell through the Kindle ? or the Nook ? No – this is just another sad and tragic attempt to deflect blame for a complete cockup in management.

    Lashing out at Apple and everyone else, and blaming them for their own failure is pitiful and shameful. They should be really embarrassed.

    An excellent exposition of the reasons why Apple’s charges are perfectly reasonable can be found here, for anyone interested in facts and not empty hyperbole:

  14. borax99 (Alain C.) // May 11, 2011 at 11:24 am //

    You can make money selling Kindle books without going through Amazon. I draw your attention to Baen Books, aka DRM-free books, and they work quite well on Kindles and on Kindle apps. If that’s not enough for you, you can download your books in a number of other formats besides. Wish more companies used such a rational, visionary approach. Why would you pirate their content when (a) they price it reasonably and (b) they make it very easy for you to use – it’s almost as if (*gasp*) they recognized that once you pay them, you actually *own* the ebook you purchased from them….

  15. How did the App work, through in-App Purchase or routing it over Safari like the Kindle App does? I suppose the last one.

    Amazon and all the others are not better than Apple, they all want to earn money. But gadgets like the iPhone and the iPad are not exclusive eBook readers. And I don’t like the way Apple is forcing the companies to add an in-App Purchase especially for all the eBook readers that are out. The iPhone is a multi-purpose device. The game companies gladly use the in-App purchase and pay the 30% fee, so the user can “buy his magic beans for some App game”, but they developed this “items” by themselves and are not depending on an agency model. Doing the math, 30% minus 30% is zero.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have an iPhone and love this device. But I am waiting desperately for a Sony Reader App on which I can read the eBooks I bought over Sony’s website. Probably will never come out.
    Actually I’m curious how long the Kindle App will hold its stand as it still offers a Shop (using the browser on the iPhone). Will it have an exclusive right in the future for this option, or will it be doomed as all the others?
    The only workaround I see at the moment is to get rid of any shop link in the App and just synchronize the library with your books bought on the website. But knowing Apple, this won’t be a solution for long.

  16. The notion of shared risk and reward has gotten lost somewhere, as has the concept of due diligence in validating assumptions in a business plan. Good fences make good neighbors and good contracts make for good business relationships.

    Having said this, iFlowReader was innovative and I am saddened to see the company go out of business. This action on Apple’s part would make me wary of diong business with them if I were a potential business partner. I would like to hear their side of the story. 30% does seem to be a bit steep, in my opinion.

    As consumers, we’ve all become numb to protections in software land due to the persistence of long, incomprehensible licensing agreements that exonerate technology companies from all wrong-doing and relieve them of any and all obligations.

  17. You can make money selling Kindle books without going through Amazon.

    You can buy non-DRM ePub and PDF eBooks from any third party sellers and read them on iBooks. I never buy from the Apple iBooks stopre at all.

    I also by using iBooks can have iTunes automatically upload and backup my PDF and ePub files. So Apple has never stopped anyone reading PDF through iOS because it is like most Operating Systems capable of reading PDF. iPhones could read PDF before iBooks even existed.

  18. Actually you still can download the App, and I did so: They offered an in-App Purchase. Bad luck for them, they should have integrated a purchase system like Amazon.
    Apparently the deadline for this is the 30th of June.

  19. Love all the blame Apple for everything crowd. Apple isn’t setting the discount the sellers get, the book publishers are. The used to give 50% discount to the small re-sellers, then the Publishers all got together and cut that to 30%. Wasn’t Apple’s decision or call at all. The big Publishers are the ones who got greedy and did it all. So why blame another retailer? Just another group of Apple-haters with a bad business model.

  20. Rob – you said “But I am waiting desperately for a Sony Reader App on which I can read the eBooks I bought over Sony’s website. Probably will never come out.” You actually CAN read your Sony ebooks on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. There are a few apps that I know of – Txtr and BlueFire (I prefer the latter) – which can read Adobe-DRM’d ePubs from any store.

    There are different ways to get them onto your phone. You will want to download Adobe Digital Editions if you haven’t already, and you need to authorize the app you use with Adobe. It sounds a little clunky and it is, but once authorized, it’s pretty painless.

  21. –> Katherine
    Yes, I knew that, but I am a lazy bugger moving the files around 😉
    But you are right, I probably should have mention it. I just think it would have been more comfortable to have an app to access the Sony Store.
    Since two weeks I also own a Kindle and find it very comfortable to use the Kindle app “on the road” for reading on the iPhone.

  22. Saxon Slade // May 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm //

    The answer is always somewhere in the middle–in this case, between the Apple Baghdad Bobs who always come out of the woodwork to defend any charge against St. Steve–and those like me who are highly suspicious of Apple lately. (I have an iphone, so I don’t entirely boycott their products; just get tired of the way Apple uses the media to hype itself).

    On the one hand, IFlow shouldn’t have staked their entire business plan on Apple playing nice. They needed to have a Plan B, so it’s probably not to fair to completely put everything on Apple.

    On the other hand, what Apple did certainly is highly questionable as bait-and-switch marketing. The app market was a central part of Ipad’s appeal, and to wait until everyone is committed, then start demanding a 30 percent cut off the top, is very hard to defend.

    For those who keep trying to say Amazon Kindle is also a closed system, that’s comparing apples and oranges (you’ll pardon the pun). Kindle is a one-function device, and any apps are an after-thought rather than a hub of the entire appeal. Anyone can convert a file and quickly put it on their Kindle, including epubs. Customers wanted page numbers, Amazon provided page numbers. Customers wanted library books and loaning, Amazon gave them that.

    Amazon giveth, Apple taketh away, judging from recent developments. So be it. This will test that teflon coating Steve Jobs and Apple seem to have. Their most worshipful fanboys won’t go anywhere, but they won’t pick up a lot of new customers this way. Amazon stands to take a big bite out of their tablet market by putting out a machine that plays more nicely with its customers.

  23. Felix Torres // May 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm //

    Okay, let’s try a bit of devil’s advocacy here to see if we can find a consensus.
    (Yeah, right!) 😉

    Let’s say the iFlowreader dev’s have only themselves to blame.
    That they should have seen this coming a mile away.
    That they came to market with an ebookstore (note that their real product is the ebooks they sell, not the reader app) based on generic content (the Price-Fix Six make up 90% of their catalog?) using generic, me-too tech (adobe’s flavor of epub), and they released it on Apple’s platform six months *after* Apple told the world they intended to monopolize ebook sales on iOS the same way they monopolize music and video on *their* platform and they released their product three months after it was clear Apple had failed to (miraculously and instantly) achieve their stated goal.

    Let us further state that before going into business in partnership with Apple they should have done their due-diligence research and drawn up a list of Apple partners who have ended up disappointed that Jobs pulled the rug from underneath them (or better yet, drawn the much shorter list of the partners who *haven’t* been shafted. Yet. 😉 ).

    They should have understood that once iBooks failed to set the iOS world on fire (even after convincing the PriceFix Six to adopt Apple’s anti-competitive business model of choice) that Apple was going to do *something*. It was hardly a secret by last november that despite Apple’s boasting of major ebook market share *one* month, with *one* publisher, iBooks wasn’t tops on iOS. It wasn’t even second or third. And it wasn’t drawing in the dedicated readers that buy multiple books per month but rather the casual readers who might pick up a couple books a year. The digital equivalent of supermarket/drug store drive-by book buyers.

    Note that Aldiko has focused its efforts (and its excellent reader app) on Android. Bluefire made is name on iOs and has made no secret it too is moving to Android.
    You won’t see those folks going out of business just because Apple, in a snit over not having its way, turned over the poker table and shot at the other players.
    (Heck, even the Unix-community is ignoring iOS and porting its signature reader apps, Coolreader 3 and FBReader to Android and even Kindle.)

    Instead of reading the handwriting on the wall and realizing Apple was on the warpath, they committed even more resources to make their iOS app even better and more valuable to customers.

    Silly boys!
    Customer focus and app quality only matters on open platforms!
    On Apple platforms what matters is making the product just good enough it doesn’t show Apple up. Stick up too much, make too much money off Apple’s herd, and you are surely but surely going to get cut down to size.

    Of course, I don’t really blame the iFlowreader devs for the collapse of their business. They really had a right to expect the platform holder to play fair and not change the rules arbitrarily.
    They had a right to be told up front what the rules are for foreclosing apps and businesses from the platform.
    They deserved to be treated as partners supporting a platform, not as bugs to be casually squashed.
    They really deserved better than they got, even if they forgot to remember that scorpions will always be scorpions.

    Hopefully, they have full documentation of all their exchanges with Apple and hopefully they have a good lawyer.
    Preferably one licensed to practice in east Texas. 😉

    Now that we know the June deadline for iOS ebookstore apps is real, all we need to do is wait and see who’s next. And who is too big for Apple to try to bully out of business. ‘Cause we can all be sure that Amazon, B&N, and Kobo are safe. They are big enough and have enough mindshare they can simply sell the books by web and bypass app-based sales.

    Other apps that are solely for reading will probably endure a bit longer. But eventually they too will be squeezed out. (Probably for the need to use bandwidth to authenticate the Adobe DRM or some other arbitrary decision.) Because, one way or another, Apple intends for iBooks to be the sole reading platform on iOS and they’re not about to let the lack of quality of the app/bookstore and user preferences get in their way.

    It’s a matter of Apple pride, now. The scorpion’s on the warpath.
    Anybody that gets in the way is going to get stung.
    A pity, really.
    It’s not as if Apple is short of cash or anything…

  24. Folks . . no one has mentioned one of the most interesting and relevant parts of the above notice:
    “Many of you have purchased books and would like to keep them. You may still be able to read them using iFlow Reader although we cannot guarantee that it will work beyond May 31, 2011”

    A reminder YET AGAIN of the absolutely outrageous abuse of readers by the use of this DRM. And those who bought books from iFlow in the last year ? in the last week ? oh well . . . too bad ! iFlow was happy to take your money but you may lose your books (read … probably WILL lose your books) after this month.

    iFlow should be ashamed, a second time.

  25. Chris Collins // May 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm //

    I don’t have much sympathy for iFlow. Some, sure, but not much. The list of folks Steve Jobs has jobbed isn’t exactly a short one. Not to mention the control issues the guy has. These aren’t secrets. The frog shouldn’t be surprised when the scorpion does what a scorpion does.

    This incidence reinforces my position of not going down the same “must have” route other folks do. I don’t have an iPhone, I don’t have an iPad, and I don’t have a Kindle. There are other options out there that are far more open. Not that I’m condemning Apple or Amazon for being such closed, controlled systems, per se. If they want to do that, that’s their choice. The problem lies in people going along with them and their practices instead of seeking out alternatives. My PRS-650 doesn’t have wireless, and for as much as this is a supposed shortcoming, I’m totally cool with that. I’d rather have the options presented to my via the internet than have the “convenience” of buying from only one source wirelessly.

    It, and Amazon’s ironic 1984 debacle, also underscores the concept of only buying ebooks you can download, not ones you leave on some company servers, of buying DRM-free ebooks, as well as stripping ebooks. I’m not a pirate, and personally find the concept of taking someone’s labor/property repugnant, but until the industry abandons the jazz they put in place to deal with piracy, readers need to take steps to protect themselves.

  26. I do feel really sorry for the company, but as was stated earlier, you can’t put all your eggs into Apple’s basket. That said, this is coming from an Apple-hater and who’s been a hater since i decided to buy an mp3 player almost 10 years ago and I looked at the ones available and bought a Creative mp3 player that did more then any of the ipods and was super durable. I swear it lasted 3 years and was `dropped down stairs onto concrete and dropped from other heights to concrete to the point it split apart a few times and clicked back together every time before the last one. I digress, but remembering my first mp3 player brings a smile to my face :-)

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