Apple has nixed Sony’s iPhone application, which would have let people buy and read e-books bought from the Sony Reader Store. For many, it’s a disturbing development.

What’s more, the company has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the Apple App Store, reports “The New York Times” ( Apple told Sony that from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple, said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division, told “The Times.”

The move could affect companies like and others that sell e-book readers that compete with Apple’s iPad tablet and offer free mobile apps so customers can read their e-book purchases on other devices. An iPad owner, for instance, has not needed to own a Kindle to read Kindle books bought from Amazon.That may now change.

“It’s the opposite of what we wanted to bring to the market,” Haber told “The Times.” “We always wanted to bring the content to as many devices as possible, not one device to one store.”

A tightening hold over the Apple App Store would also appear to upset a recent detente Apple has created with app developers, who were often left frustrated and in the dark when an app was rejected by the App Store, notes “CNET” ( But Apple recently announced plans to publish its App Store Review Guidelines and to allow developers to create applications with just about any tool they want.

Apple gets a 30% cut of anything purchased on the iPhone, or iPad, but iOS applications such as Amazon’s Kindle reader and some newspaper clients provide access to content that was paid for elsewhere. This “something that Apple is apparently no longer going to tolerate” and “if you buy a book on a desktop computer and then read it on your iPhone then Apple won’t get its pound of flesh — and that’s not acceptable,” opines “The Register” (