Well, this could be interesting.

Amazon yesterday announced the availability of its new Kindle Cloud Reader, an HTML 5 web app designed to let you read your Kindle books on devices without necessarily having to install the standalone Kindle app.

Amazon's reasons for this are clear: Apple started demanding a 30% cut of all in-app purchases, and Amazon (as well as others) complied with this demand not by giving Apple its 30% but by removing support for in-app purchases from its programs. Either way, Apple wins: it either gets its money, or it pushes its competitors out of the low-margin-but-ascendant ebook and digital music businesses on its devices (bystanders take note: this is the sort of behavior that got Microsoft into so much hot water with regulators a decade or so ago). The Cloud Reader gives Amazon a chance to take advantage of the iPad's ubiquity while also avoiding giving Apple an unsustainably large cut.

The Kindle Cloud Reader supports only three browsers at this point: the iPad version of Safari, the desktop version of Safari, and Google Chrome - support for other browsers is "coming soon." As time goes on, I suspect we'll start to see more developers take this route, since HTML 5 apps not only sit outside of Apple's tightly-controlled App Store but are also fairly portable across all HTML 5-supporting browsers - Apple may soon be in the uncomfortable position of having to compete with apps using a standard that it helped to popularize.

Source: Amazon

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • solipsism - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    Did you even think before you posted? First of all, there is no store required to put an app on Windows just like there is no store required to put an app on Mac OS. In other words if you buy Office for Mac from Microsoft.com you aren't paying Apple anything for it. Secondly, iTunes is a free app so charging 30% or $0 is still /motherfucking/ zero.
  • sigmatau - Friday, August 12, 2011 - link

    Really? Did you actualy think before you posted? You don't need a store to put things on iOS devices. It's how Apple locked the device down. If you unlock iOS devices, you can bypass the Apple App Store, but you still will have to use the crappy iTunes to sync them I guess.

    Imagine if Microsoft locked down Windows and charged 30% for evert single 3rd party company to sell/install software on it. Same exact BS. You are just getting crapped on by Apple and taking it.

    Developers should not be taking a 30% hit on their sales because they are being forced by Apple to sell their software throug Apple's store. There is significant maintenance for using that interface too. And if you think that one click purchases is what makes that store so awesome, you really haven't installed anything on a PC in a decade.
  • sigmatau - Friday, August 12, 2011 - link

    Meant to say, there is NO significant maintenance in the Appstore. Surely not 30% of sales.

    I guess Apple wants to be the next Visa/Mastercard and wants a slice of every transaction no matter how insignificant their role was.
  • Metaluna - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    In Chromium (which is upstream from Chrome).

    For Windows, it's not as nice as the native client, but it's nice enough that I'll probably deregister the reader app from my PCs and just use the web. You can use the web client anywhere and it only counts as a single activation on your Kindle account, so if you have several PC's that you occasionally use for reading, it's more convenient than managing all the activations.
  • steven75 - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    Walmart should allow sellers to put inventory in their stores for FREE!

    Amazon should allow people to sell their books on amazon.com for FREE! (They charge 40%)

    Apple should allow sellers to put inventory in their stores and sell their books for FREE!

    Oh, wait... THEY'RE ALL THE SAME!
  • steven75 - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    I tried this yesterday, and hoooo boy, all it took was one scroll before it felt like junk. It's like night & day difference compared to say another page in safari or the Kindle app.

    Someone should make a youtube video. More power to Amazon for building an HTML5 site, but it's definitely a noticeable step down in performance from the Kindle app.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now