Amazon Allows Customers to do What Apple Wouldn't

Amazon has fired the most recent shot in the battle between the online commerce giant and one of its rivals in the ebook space, Apple. Amazon has introduced a new application for its Kindle, called the Kindle Cloud Reader, which will allow customers to read Kindle books using only their web browser (as long as it supports HTML5).

This may not seem like a strike against Apple in and of itself, but it is in retaliation to a recent Apple restriction that essentially doesn’t allow Apple’s rivals (Amazon and Barnes and Noble) to include buttons on apps in the App Store that link back to their own ebook stores, and thus taking customers out of the App Store.

Since the new Kindle Cloud Reader acts just like the Kindle app — synchronizing with your library, your bookmarks, notes and highlights — people can read on their iPads without ever going to the iBookstore.

By creating this web app, Amazon no longer has to share 30% of its revenue with Apple. And according to PC World, they’re not the only ones who are looking to sidestep Apple.

“Other developers and publishers, such as The Financial Times, have chosen to abandon (or at least cripple) their iOS apps in order to keep more money from their sales and not split it with Apple,” writes PC World.

And the Los Angeles Times says that “Amazon's new Kindle Cloud Reader is exactly the sort of iPad app Apple isn't allowing in its App Store.”

The good news for ebook enthusiasts is that Amazon’s shot to Apple also benefits the readers who can now read and buy books through Amazon on their iPads (but not their iPhones — the Kindle Cloud Reader isn’t compatible with them … yet).