updated 11:05 am EDT, Fri July 31, 2009
No Apple e-books coming
Apple does not have any interest in building an e-book store, at least at the moment, an anonymous industry source claims. Speculation has arisen because of reports documenting an upcoming tablet device, generally expected to measure 10 inches and carry a built-in 3G connection. Regardless of whether or not the tablet supports e-ink technology, it could represent competition for Amazon's dominant Kindle readers.
The source suggests that any e-book support on the Apple tablet will have to come from third-party companies, which could include Barnes & Noble or Amazon itself. A Kindle application is already available for the iPhone.
Silicon Alley Insider observes that Apple may be avoiding e-books for several reasons. These include a small audience relative to the amount of money needed for e-book publishing, which could also fail to sell more hardware, the main purpose of iTunes and the App Store. Enough e-book apps already exist on the App Store moreover, from which Apple pulls 30 percent of the revenue.
Apple may also have had bad experiences with e-books several years ago. The book industry was then and now archaic and disorganized, the source claims, prompting Apple CEO Steve Jobs to cancel distribution plans.