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When Apple announced that it would be taking a 30 percent cut from developers offering content for sale via an iOS app -- even outside of its walled garden -- many began worrying that their favorite apps would disappear. This week, the first of potentially many have announced just that.
BeamItDown Software, LLC has announced that they’re closing up shop on their popular iFlow Reader apps for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad come May 31, 2011, and is squarely pointing the finger in Apple’s direction. Often referred to as “the best ebook reading app on the iPad,” it would appear that Apple’s agency model -- which nets the App Store giant 30 percent on in-app purchases, which will soon include content -- has taken its first victim.
“You can still download this product, but you should be aware that we are going out of business on May 31, 2011,” an update to the iFlow Reader app description now reads. “We do not want to do this. We have a great product and lots of great customers who love our unique approach to ebooks.
“Unfortunately for us and for you as an iOS user, Apple has decided that it wants all of the ebook business on iOS for itself and it has made mid-game rule changes that make it impossible for almost anyone but Apple to sell ebooks at a profit on iOS,” the description continues. “They are now requiring us to give them 30 percent of the sale price of any eBook that we sell. This is greater than our total profit on these ebooks so we cannot possibly make any money on the sale. This makes it impossible to stay in business.”
There’s plenty more information on the closing at the company’s website, including details on how customers can continue to access ebooks already purchased from the service. Because iFlow Reader uses Adobe Digital Editions, it’s possible to download these ebooks from the company’s website and access them through other means. The apps themselves may continue to work in the future, but the developer warns there’s no way of knowing if a future iOS update might break them.
“We put our faith in Apple and they screwed us,” the developers vent on their website, encouraging customers to contact Apple executives Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller directly via email to express their dismay. It’s sad to hear that any developer has to close up shop because of Apple’s App Store policies, and we’re guessing this may be just the beginning as Cupertino’s deadline to share 30 percent of content sales at the end of June approaches.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter