Ever since Apple changed its rules requiring that apps that offer customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase, smaller eReader apps are barely surviving.
BeamItDown Software and its iFlow Reader are the first to go. The company is closing on May 31, 2011. In a post on their website, they blamed Apple for their demise: “We absolutely do not want to do this, but Apple has made it completely impossible for 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.”
We spoke to Micah Bowers, principal of Blue Fire Reader is also concerned. Today Bowers posted his concern to the online forum MobileRead.com. He wrote: “…it is not clear now if there is a future for us on this OS – no matter how hard we try to follow the rules. I hope we can find a way to release great reading software on this platform. We will keep trying. iFlow today gave it up. I’m sad about that, as they took a really interesting and innovative approach to the reading flow with their auto-scroll feature. I will miss that competition. Everyone benefits from the innovations that occur in an open market.”
Is Apple killing app developers chances?