Kim-Mai Cutler at Inside Mobile Apps has written an interesting piece that Facebook and Apple are on a collision course over payments.
Facebook and Apple look like they are making moves out of each other’s playbook. Both have announced that they will take a 30% cut of sales (virtual items and subscriptions) from apps distributed on their platforms.
Where it gets interesting is where their platforms converge. Facebook has publicly stated that they are focused on extending their platform to mobile which means, they want developers to create their apps using Facebook platform and API’s and distribute on Apple iOS and Google Android devices.
What happens, Ms. Cutler wonders, if Facebook creates a HTML 5 optimized tablet version and encouraged HTML 5 gaming titles (such as hit games such as FarmVille) to use Facebook Credits?
The answer, is that they will have found a Trojan Horse to extend Facebook Credits on iOS and Android devices through HTML 5 and gaming.
This is an intriguing scenario and one that puts Facebook and Apple on a collision course in regards to payments.
Until, of course, Apple blocks all HTML 5 games from iOS devices.
Think that can not happen because Apple supports HTML 5, as well as Google and Facebook? Think again. Apple does not allow flash on iOS devices not because it’s a bad technology (let’s just ignore that debate for now) but because flash games would allow game companies to go around Apple’s payment system. If game companies and archrival Facebook use HTML 5 to get around Apple’s payment eco-system, HTML 5 will be dropped faster than you can say “we own 30% of your subscription revenues.”
There would be a ruckus about Apple’s hypocrisy for a few days, but anyone, including Facebook, who could not foresee Apple making this move does not get how the business world works.
HTML 5 will be the next big thing in games because it’s build once, play everywhere. Until Facebook forces Apple to pull the plug and Facebook Credits and Apple’s In-App Purchases collide.