Well that didn’t take long. Just a couple of weeks after Amazon announced it was acquiring the ‘iTunes for comics’ platform ComiXology, the service’s Comics app on iOS has been updated to cut out in-app purchase capabilities. The move means users will need to visit the company’s website to buy new material, and of course deprives Apple of its share of any sales at the same time.
In-app purchases remain on the Android app, but they are now routed through ComiXology’s own platform rather than the system that Google has built into Android. Again, the aim is to avoid having to pay a chunk of each sale price to the platform owner. You can still star comics for later purchase from the apps, and previously purchased comics can still be downloaded and synced to your mobile devices as usual.
The move makes sense for Amazon’s bottom line — the company also prevents purchases from the Kindle apps on iOS — but it’s not so convenient for users. To sweeten the deal, users who upgrade can get their hands on a $5 gift card to go towards future purchases. Those outside the U.S. can still claim the credit by visiting the .com version of the ComiXology website.
“To thank our loyal customers and ease this transition, we are offering a $5 eGift Card credit to all those who have purchased through the ComiXology platform in the past,” writes the company on its Tumblr blog. “This credit will be automatically applied throughout the day to those accounts who are eligible and all of those eligible have 30 days to purchase books with that credit. Enjoy!”
Presumably comic book creators will receive a greater slice of the revenue now that Apple and Google are out of the equation, but this isn’t yet clear. Another consequence of buying on the Web rather than through iOS/Android is that the age and content restriction settings built into both platforms will no longer apply.
Will the update prevent you from making as many impulse purchases as before? Let us know in the comments.