Apple reworking iBooks app to get back into the digital books

Todd Singleton
January 26, 2018

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook previous year set a goal of doubling revenues from mobile services by 2020. It will certainly be interesting to see what it looks like, and whether the company can succeed in wresting some of the ebook market share away from Amazon. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple will release a revamped version of the iBooks app for iOS, which will be dubbed "Books", that will have an interface more like the iOS 11 App Store, a Reading Now tab, and a separate section for audiobooks.

Apple released an early version of its iOS 11.3 mobile operating system update to developers on Wednesday, providing a hint that the new e-books app is on the way.

This will be the biggest upgrade to Apple's e-book service in several years and provides renewed competition in a market that Amazon has dominated.

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In the wake of the lawsuit, Apple essentially put its iBooks and iBookstore services on the back burner, Gurman notes, while shifting its focus to building out other digital services including Apple Music and its more recent Apple Podcasts platform. Last month, the iPhone X maker hired Kashif Zafar, who previously served as a senior vice president for Amazon's Audible audio books business. It would also mark a potential comeback for Apple after the US Justice Department sued the company and publishers for working together to raise book prices and fined Apple $450 million. Before that, Zafar was a content vice president at Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader division, according to his LinkedIn profile. Many industry participants questioned the ruling in the case, since it obviously favored Amazon. We've reached out to Apple for comment on what the app refresh will entail.

Amazon has revamped its Kindle app for reading on Apple's devices recently, while Google has started promoting audio books on its Google Play digital media store.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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