Change of Heart: Apple rejects Sony’s Reader app; are Kindle and Nook apps next to go?

In a sudden change of heart, Apple has started to reject submissions to its App Store for apps that allow users to purchase content outside of the company’s app—that is, Apple is no longer taking kindly to apps that direct users to the web to engage in e-commerce.

The New York Times reports that Sony is among them, which submitted an app for its Reader, wherein users could access and purchase Sony Reader content via the web. And e-books will not be saleable even within iOS apps.

But Amazon’s Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook already have their own apps for the iPhone and function by very similar means. Apple’s shift in what it considers acceptable does indeed put these apps in danger territory, as they now break its new rules quite clearly; but will Apple go so far as to remove them?

Speculation suggests that this may happen, as Apple wants to drive users to purchase iTunes. In fact, Apple seems disinterested with anyone selling anything through its iOS: the new demands would be ridiculous for any major company to agree with. Apple says that content purchases via an iPhone App must be made through in-app purchasing mechanisms—this means that Apple would take a whopping 30 percent of all sales, dramatically slashing revenues for the other company and making very easy money for the Mac maker.