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Apple's 30 per cent cut on ebooks sees Google Books vanish from App Store

Google Books has disappeared from the App Store as Apple begins to enforce new rules on buying stuff in apps. Other similar apps have stopped selling ebooks too.

Google Books has disappeared from the App Store as Apple begins to enforce new rules on buying stuff in apps. Google's ebook app has been pulled from Apple's app outlet and other, similar apps have stopped selling books altogether, in response to Apple's plan to take a 30 per cent cut of sales.

Several apps, including the Kindle and Borders ebook apps, are undergoing changes, although the rules apply to all kinds of content, from newspapers and magazines to streamed music.

Apple boss Steve Jobs revealed the new terms for selling stuff for the iPad and iPhone earlier this year. Some reports estimated the new rules could cost Amazon between $80m and $160m.

Apple's new rules dictate that subscriptions and purchases have to be made through the app, and subject to Apple taking a 30 per cent share. Apps can no longer send users to a Web page to make you hand over your cash, which previously allowed sellers to sidestep Apple's cut. Mama Jobs didn't raise no fools, so Apple has begun enforcing the new rules.

The Kindle is Amazon's ebook reader. The book store and app of the same name let you sync your reading across various devices, so you can read a chapter on your computer, then pick up seamlessly where you left off on your phone or tablet. The app lets you read books but actually buying them requires a trip to the online store -- or at least it does on Android and other devices, as that's precisely the sort of thing Apple has shut down today.

The change also affects Borders, Kobo and Nook, US bookseller Barnes & Noble's version of the Kindle. For the moment, you must create an account and buy books online, which you can then read in the apps.

This does add a layer of complexity to the buying process, which may tempt booksellers to overhaul their iOS apps. It is Apple's store after all, and Apple is entitled to a cut.

But a cheaper option for sellers is to create online ebook readers that would let you see content right there in the Safari browser without requiring an app -- a strategy adopted by the Financial Times with its HTML5 edition for mobile devices.

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