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iBook Store Floundering Six Months After Launch

When Steve Jobs talked up iBooks earlier this year, it sounded like it had the potential to put reigning e-book champions such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon on the ropes.

However, after six months of offering up downloadable text content to capable iOS devices, it appears that the once seemingly mighty contender hasn’t been able to do much more than land a few rabbit punches. Despite the iPad’s rabid popularity, neither major publishers, nor the book buying public have embraced iBooks.

After more than half a year online, Apple’s iBook Store is still only offering up approximately 60,000 titles. When held up against the 700,000 titles offered by Amazon for their Kindle reader software and hardware solutions, Cupertino’s library looks pretty weak. Did we mention that about half of the titles available as iBooks are also available from Project Gutenberg? C’mon Steve, this is embarrassing.

The ever-vigilant Apple watchers over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW, y’all) have published a fascinating, if not somewhat depressing read on the current state of Apple’s once promising e-book portal, covering what works, what has failed and a few explanations for all of the above. Some of the biggest sticking points included a limited offering of books that appear in the much touted New York Times Best Seller’s List, higher prices than other e-book retailers and the utter non-existence of a recommendation system, which given Apple’s implementation of the Genius feature in iTunes, is more than a little baffling.

With how Apple’s vision has changed the very shape of the music industry, it’s surprising that they’ve yet to gain traction in the area of peddling virtual pages. Let’s hope, for those who enjoy both their iOS devices as well as a good read from time to time, they get it right eventually.

 

Follow this article’s author, Seamus Bellamy on Twitter.

 


News

iBooks is coming to the iPhone and iPod Touch

iBooks is coming to the iPhoneAfter the big unveiling of the next version of the iPhone OS (4.0), Apple have announced that iBooks (an eBook reader originally designed for the iPad) will be available on iPhone OS 4.0 later this year.

The iPhone version will allow iPhone an iPod Touch users to purchase eBooks (much in the way they can purchase songs and apps) on the device itself.

The iBooks store will only work within the United States, but Apple will extend access internationally as the release date for the next iPhone creeps closer.

From a business perspective, the iBooks application will directly compete with the Amazon Kindle, which already offers 450,000 books.  The recent launch if the iPad in the United States has already produced iBook sales of up to 600,000 downloads.