iFlowReader software developer closing down, points finger firmly in Apple’s direction!

BeamItDown software has just announced that its iFlow Reader eBook application will no longer be supported and that the company is going out of business. The reason for the closure of the company, according to BeamItDown, is Apple and the recent changes in its subscription policies.

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. They are now requiring us to give them 30% 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. We put our faith in Apple and they screwed us.

You can find out more information at the company’s website; such as how you can ensure any books that you have bought with iFlow can be safeguarded prior to the app and service disappearing for good.

Do any of our readers use iFlow? Do you think this could be the first of many developers who are set to struggle with Apple’s insistence on talking a 30% cut from the sale of eBooks etc? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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iFlowReader software developer closing down, points finger firmly in Apple’s direction!


iBooks is a complete joke though. I'm hoping Apple can do much better. However, I and millions of iOS owners already have a large investment in Kindle books... so if Apple pushes them away, it might mean bye-bye to my beloved iPad. I hope Apple considers this (rather than just the profit margin of one division). It might be good not to piss-off this 25yr+ Apple evangelist to make a couple extra bucks. I'm sure I'd not be the only one.

How is iBooks a joke? SO many people say "iBooks is stupid/a joke/useless/dumb" yet never say WHY. I've had zero problems with it. The books, and the app in general, are much more attractive than any other app I've used, it never hitches/crashes... the only thing I've seen is that they don't have a ton of books available yet... which will come with time, just like it did for Amazon or B&N. Seriously - what sucks about iBooks?

First, it is only available on iOS. That alone makes it a joke for serious use. There AT LEAST must be an OSX version and probably a Windows version. The notes, bookmarks, etc all need to sync between then. The fact that it didn't have this at launch makes this amateur night at Apple. Second, as you mention, the selection is horrible. I get sick of searching for books I'm looking for and finding nothing. I'm sure that will eventually change.
The package is certainly pretty. Hopefully Apple will one day put something worthwhile inside. However, I don't want to see Apple do so by doing stuff like this.

The 30% rule has been part of the bargain from day 1. This dev ignored it and built a business model based on skirting rules that were not enforced. Now the rules are enforced, and his model does not work.
Gripe Police Issues These Tickets to BeamItDown:
--Failure to Stay Within Bounds of Stated Rules
--Exhibition of Pettiness
--Wrongful Pulling of Heartstrings
Fine: 30% of sales (each count)

But, that means that no seller of e-books is going to make it, right? Amazon wouldn't either. Only direct publisher-to-Apple might be a possibility. That isn't a good way to 'win' if you could call it that. Apple is better than this. Hopefully this isn't one of the 'big company, get stupid' type moves.

amazon isnt using in app purchases, you buy them on their own site, and therefore apple doesnt get a cut of it. sneeky

Hopefully... though then I'm not sure why iFlowReader couldn't just do the same thing. Seems easy enough just to tell people to go to your web-site to make the actual purchases and then the app is just a reader for those purchases. Some of the wording in Apple's terms seemed a bit iffy for this kind of situation as well though, the last time I looked at it.

30% was there for sale of apps and in-app purchases, not for sale of content for the apps unrelated to Apple-provided in-app purchases.

Never heard of them, or the app, couldn't care less. They are just some middlemen who are reselling ebooks that I can simply get someplace else. If this was Amazon then I would be worried.

Well, if everyone gets treated the same then Amazon and B&N will have to pull their apps too. I honestly thought that non-subscription sales would be treated differently, especially because of the agency model in place.

Well, Amazon doesn't sell their books through the device... so they could easily pull that link. Though, I'm not sure that would solve the problem, as Apple's policy is unclear at best. I didn't use this software, but they did sell through the app, right?

Wow, it's incredible how everybody seem to side with Apple when something like this happens. I dare say that if it was Microsoft enforcing a 30% cut on all transactions the pitch forks would be out and people would be rallying against it.
I guess fanboys won't wake up until its too late, again.

People aren't siding with Apple because it's Apple - people are siding with the company that clearly stated the rules in their ToS, as opposed to siding with the sad little company that made an app that skirted Apple's clear, stated rules. It doesn't matter if the 30% is ridiculous or not - it was clearly stated from the beginning and anyone wanting to use in-app purchases knew this, or they're incredibly stupid. I guess the Apple-haters won't grow a brain until it's too late...

Actually Microsofts App Store started more expensive than Apple's for small developers but is about on par now And both are much, much lower than previous App marketplaces used to charge.

Don't even compare Microsoft app store to apple's because you do not have to jailbreak Microsoft phones to use alternative stores to purchase apps.

Actually, I preferred BeamItDown's teleprompter-style reader that got faster or slower as you tilted the device. It quickly became instinctive, and allowed for much more seamless reading. I swear it was faster and a more engrossing because I wasn't reminded every 3 paragraphs that I was interacting with an device. I wish you could use Apple's reader like that.

I have a Thunderbolt, an iPad and a Playbook so it would be hard to lump me as a fanboy. In fact, I never understand this devotion to one platform at the expense of all others and hatred when someone likes something you don't. But this is just plain greed to the point of absurdity. If Apple had somehow subsidized my iPad, like a carrier, I could some valid argument here. But that is not the case. Apple doesn't write, edit, publish, market or sell for books outside of iBooks. Why should it be entitled to 30% or anything for that matter. Here's hoping that Amazon and B&N just tell Apple and Jobs to take a hike.

Microsowt was sued over it's 'illegal' practice, why the big ones as EU won't do the same with Apple?

This is really sad. I didn't use the app, but Apple's policy on this not great from my understanding. They had just better not force Amazon's Kindle app off the platform. I suppose Amazon could remove the link to their web store, and try to get around it that way... though the wording of Apple's policy is isn't at all clear that would do it.
Sorry folks, as a long time Apple evangelist, I think Apple is headed in the wrong direction with some of these moves. I'm sure they want to win with iBooks, but cutting off ones nose to spite the face isn't the answer. Win by being better, not through shifty policy tricks! iBooks is currently a joke housed in a pretty skin. It doesn't hold a candle to Kindle app for anyone doing anything but best-sell-pleasure-reading.... neither in content (books available) or in how the app works. If Apple had at least released an OSX version, it wouldn't be quite so much of a joke. We'll see where this goes I guess.

Frankly, and the way some of you are cheering a) Apples blatant greed and uncompetitve action, and b) this developers loss of livelihood is sickening. They've basically been chased off of the platform and in don't understand why you can applaud an action that isn't good for the consumer or the ecosystem at all.
Secondly, didn't the 30% rule originally only apply to the purchase of the app itself and not content within the app? I I thought I remembered reading that Apple im