In an update to the story I posted earlier today about Apple rejecting Sony’s Reader app, Ars Technica has now heard a response from Apple, and it comes with some pretty dire implications for other e-book apps. It seems that Apple is no longer going to be content to allow apps to access content purchased elsewhere unless it comes with an identical option to purchase the content from within the app as well.
The rub here is, of course, that Apple takes a 30% cut of any purchases made within the app itself. And since agency pricing (which Apple had a hand in implementing) means prices must remain constant for e-books no matter where they’re sold…well. This could be problematic for e-books’ future on Apple devices.
Hopefully the same backlash that led to Apple eventually allowing Flash applications and reverting the iPad’s "mute" switch will bring about some chances here. But who can say?