Last week's scare over the possibility of Apple banning book apps that don't allow purchase through the App Store seems to be just that: a scare. So far we've heard nothing from either Apple or Amazon that suggests we are likely to see a big change in the way the Kindle app operates. I can't help wondering just how dependent Kindle sales are on the iOS platform. Amazon will never tell us, of course, and continue to issue vague statistics and comparisons to cover both Kindle reader sales and book downloads.
We do know that Kindle downloads now exceed Amazon's sales of paperbacks – a tremendous achievement when you think about it – but there is no hint of the proportion of those sales that are down to the Kindle apps for iPhone and iPad.
I suspect we would be astonished at the size of this proportion. The Kindle app on the iOS platform has undoubtedly been a winner for Amazon and the certainly won't want to risk cutting off this lucrative income stream. I would bet, too, that sales of the Kindle reader have benefited enormously from the halo effect of the iPad and the iPhone apps. Whatever the background moves, both Apple and Amazon have a good reason to patch up any disagreements and continue to maintain the status quo.