Several companies did end up caving to Apple over in-app purchases yesterday, and others really are caving to HTML5 today! That includes Kobo, which just announced it is developing an HTML5-optimized app for iOS.
Kobo already had a fully-functioning app for iOS before, but it recently had to remove in-app access to its online store (like Google and The Wall Street Journal, among others) to fit in line with Apple's new app policies.
Thus, Kobo will be bypassing the traditional iOS app in favor of HTML5 for shopping within the mobile browser. A release date hasn't been announced yet, but here's a tidbit from the press release:
With the new HTML5 web app, Kobo remains committed to open solutions and extends eReading capabilities to a platform that can be quickly enhanced and updated with the latest eReading features and functionality. Kobo's HTML5 app will not replace the company's existing apps, but extend its read-across-any-device strategy to reach a broader set of users and add additional value for their current customer base.
Kobo already has other apps for Android, RIM and HP WebOS.
It's quite smart for Kobo to try to get ahead of its competitors on this one. After all, it's not like it has Borders to rely on anymore - even though Kobo has tried to maintain its distance lately as much as possible.
Furthermore, Kobo's e-reader device and platform fall way behind on the popularity and sales scale behind Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook. The latter two can afford to take their time (at least for a little while), but Kobo cannot.
- CNET: Apple forces Amazon to alter Kindle app
- And it’s gone - Amazon removes Kindle Store button from iOS app
- Apple’s in-app purchase policy change closes integrated ebook stores
- Apple enforcing eReader restrictions, Google Books no longer available to iOS
- June 30: Judgment Day for Amazon's Kindle on Apple's App Store