To read comic books on a digital device used to be a very simple process, almost as easy as walking into a comic book store and purchasing your latest comic. Nowadays there are a few different avenues to get your latest Marvel/DC fix. Comixology is a website that provides the digital versions of your favourite comics, but they have just replaced the iOS app with a newer version. It is this new version that is causing a stir, as it has removed the ability to purchase comics. I know what you are thinking right now, ‘A comic book app that you can’t buy comics from, awesome!’
Before you go ‘Hulk’ and start smashing up your iPad, the new app isn’t completely useless, it is now solely a comic book reader. This basically means that if you want new material to read then you must visit the company’s website to purchase new comics. You are still able to browse through comics in the new app and you can still download free comics directly, but any paid comics you want, can only be added to a wish-list to purchase online later. You are still able to download and sync previously purchased comics directly from the app.
This is not an improvement, but the change has been made because of Apple’s App Store policy. It demands that it receive a 30 percent share of all in-app purchases and subscriptions. So, it appears as though to save money, Comixology is forcing its users to make their purchases on the Comixology website, therefore the company doesn’t have to give Apple any additional funds.
This is not a new business model to follow for Amazon, who recently acquired Comixology earlier this month. They have followed a similar business model with their Kindle app for iOS. The Android app has also been updated, but for Android users, the changes are not as radical. Any in-app purchases are now made through Comixology and not Google Play. The process is clearly taking its toll on users, so to avoid any issues the company is giving away $5 gift cards when you update.
VP of Communications for Comixology, Chip Mosher, issued Engadget with the following statement regarding the removal of in-app purchases on iOS: “As we move to complete the acquisition with Amazon, we are shifting to the web-based purchasing model they’ve successfully used with the Kindle, which we expect will allow us to strike the best balance between prices, selection and customer experience.
There are many advantages to shopping at comiXology.com. Because of the content restrictions our mobile partners have, shopping on the web provides even greater selection of comic books and graphic novels. iOS customers will now be able to save money with comiXology’s exclusive web-only Bundles, take advantage of Subscription features and enjoy eGift Cards. We also made our website more tablet/mobile friendly on all devices to make the purchasing process that much easier. And in Safari on iOS, customers can easily save a shortcut to our webstore with the “Add to Home Screen” feature.
In the new Android 3.6 upgrade we have a new comiXology in-app purchase system and a great new shopping cart, one of our most requested features. In the new app, customers may be prompted to update your payment information to continue purchasing books. This is a one-time action after which you can purchase inside the app.”
So, apparently the reason is not save Amazon money, but it is to improve the users’ experience? What do you think? As always, if you would like to leave a sensible comment, then please do so in the comments section below.
[Images via johnwatsoncomicart]