Tool: Apple’s Brazen Revenue Grab Boosts Open Web Apps

Apples "give us a cut" subscription policy is probably giving html5 -- for mobiles -- a boost. 

Apple’s Brazen Revenue Grab Boosts Open Web Apps

You have to hand it to Apple — or do you?

The company’s demand that publishers offering subscriptions to everything from magazines to music services through iOS hand over 30 percent of resulting revenue to the company could be backfiring already.

Apple’s projected revenue from other companies’ sale of iTunes apps is a big reason its stock price is so high. However, its own policies could have ominous implications for its proverbial golden-egg-laying goose.

The potent combination of HTML5′s growing capabilities and Apple’s attempt to draw a king-like tribute from media companies that already operate on razor-thin margins could turn the app revolution into the open web revolution — call it Web 3.0, or perhaps the app-ified web.

In addition to eroding iTunes revenue, this would open the door for hardware competitors such as Google Android affiliates, Blackberry, and Microsoft. Anything that runs HTML5 and streams HTTP would be able to handle media apps designed primarily for the iPhone or iPad.

Music services have largely contended with Apple’s policy by deleting “subscribe” links from their apps, or even raising pricesWalmart’s streaming video service, Vudu, skipped the development of native iPad app in favor of an iPad-accessible website that streams via HTTP — thereby keeping the 30 percent of revenue it would have otherwise had to hand over to Apple.

Vudu general manager Edward Lichty said that in addition to keeping that 30 percent, he likes the way the open app approach lets Vudu add features without asking Apple to approve the new version of an app.

Then there’s Amazon, the electronic reading powerhouse, which earlier removed the link to its Kindle store from its Kindle iOS app rather than surrendering 30 percent of resulting revenue to Steve Jobs and company. On Wednesday, it

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