The company behind iPad ebook reading app iFlow is closing down and is blaming a recent rule change by Apple for the decision.
Earlier this year the iPad maker informed app developers that it would no longer approve apps which redirected sales out of the app and into the devices’s web browser those apps also allowed in-app purchasing via the iTunes billing facility.
For such in-app purchases Apple is reported to require the same 30% handling charge as for all other app sales.
The move prompted speculation about the future of third party ebook apps such as iFlow, Kobo and Amazon’s Kindle as the 30% Apple requires is estimated to account for the majority of a retailer’s commission from book publishers.
On this understanding, ebook stores which make sales in-app could face a loss on each book sold.
Overnight the developers behind the iFlow app emailed all registered users to announce “BeamItDown Software and the iFlow Reader will cease operations as of May 31, 2011.”
In a lengthy statement posted on its website, the company claimed: “Apple has made it completely impossible for anyone but Apple to make a profit selling contemporary ebooks on any iOS device.”
The statement added: “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.”
The full statement can be read at iflowreader.com
Apple have been asked for a response to the claims.