The Comixology debacle, revisited

If you cast your mind back to around a month ago, you might remember me writing this post about my new-found love of comics. As well as outing myself as a closet comic reader, I also weighed in on the hot topic of the day: Amazon's decision to pull Comixology from the App Store's in-app purchase system, meaning those wanting to buy comics have to do so via the web rather than the app like they used to.

At the time I said that it really didn't matter and that, in the long run, it's really no different to how the Kindle store works. You browse Amazon for the book you want, buy it, and download it on your reading device of choice. Rocket science, it is not.

I still believe that, and I honestly still don't think it's a problem in the long run.

In the long run.

I've been having a great conversation - as much as you can on Twitter, at least - with Jeff Gamet and David Chartier, both of The Mac Observer fame amongst others, about the subject. They both feel somewhat aggrieved that they now have to venture out of the Comixology app to buy their favourite comics. Which got me thinking.

Why do they see it as such a problem?

As far as I can see, the only difference between us is that I'm brand new to the idea of buying comics. As some of you will know, I'm not averse to getting wound up about things, but this Comixology brouhaha doesn't phase me one bit, when it probably should.

Jeff, who's probably one of the more difficult to upset, is positively foaming about it. But he's spent years being able to buy comics on his iPad without having to think twice about it. Apparently the process of buying a comic now consists of browsing in-app, adding new comics to his wishlist and then buying from that wishlist on the Comixology website.

As well as being a bit of a pain, Jeff points out that "the spontaneity is gone & I don’t impulse buy. Multiple purchases a week before, almost none now." Which is a problem, for Comixology as much as for Jeff.

Me? I browse on the website, buy on the website and then download inside the app. I'm happy with it, but then it's all I've ever known. Which is where I think the rub lies.

It all comes down to expectations. Jeff and David expect to be able to buy in-app because that's what they're used to. It's how it's done. Until it's not.

I, on the other hand, had no expectations because I'm new to the game. Going in, I knew that there was no in-app purchasing option and that meant that normal, to me, was using the website.

The problem that Amazon and Comixology now has is that they built up a loyal customer base that is used to doing things one way, and is now being forced to do something else. Those of us new to the app won't care, but we're not the ones that got Comixology into a position to be attractive enough for a buyout.

They say you don't know what you've got till it's gone. Luckily I never had it in the first place.

[Image Credit: Android Community]