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Comic book deal may back e-book focus for Apple tablet

updated 03:25 pm EDT, Wed October 21, 2009

Developer hints at clandestine deal

A deal signed by a start-up company supports the notion that e-books will be a focus of Apple's forthcoming tablet, claims the Chicago Sun-Times's Andy Ihnatko. The columnist recently spoke with the CEO of LongBox, a business working on a digital storefront for selling the latest editions of comic books. Most comic books sold online come from older archives, limiting their appeal.

The CEO, Rantz Hoseley, says LongBox has formed a partnership with a manufacturer which has received intense coverage of future hardware on numerous technology websites. The manufacturer is also the only one that could give LongBox "a multinational launch with literally millions of installed users," according to Hoseley.

Ihnatko argues that the deal is most likely with Apple, and if so, associated with the iTunes Store and an anticipated tablet. Such a deal would reinforce earlier reports that Apple has been speaking with various publishers and publications about bringing text to the iTunes Store, including Oberlin, McGraw Hill and the New York Times. A separate group of companies -- including Time magazine -- allegedly intends to make their content at least compatible with an Apple tablet, though conflicts with Apple are said to have arisen over business models.

Should Apple enter the e-book realm, it will face significant competition. Amazon is the industry's dominant vendor, thanks to its Kindle handhelds and a corresponding online store. More recently the fray has been joined by Barnes & Noble, which has begun selling the Nook, a device with more advanced hardware including touchscreen controls.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    I hate you Apple

    If this is true, you'll be getting even more money from me ... and I still want to get me a new iMac first. *sob*

    Tablets are about the only way to really read full comics electronically, so I hope it's as good as it looks.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    What significant competition?

    The iPhone/iPod Touch platform has a user base of over 50 million units and iTunes has been long established for content delivery with 100 million credit card users. These facts already give Apple a huge lead. All Apple has to do is start pushing out tablets to grow the base even further.

    The Kindle and Archos readers will likely represent a tiny fraction of users. Possibly under a million. Apple is rumored to be gearing up for producing 300,000 tablets a month. If the tablet is really good, numbers will probably surpass Kindle's in six months.

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    I will buy

    If my comics become available on the Apple tablet, I will buy it, period.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -7

    re: competition

    The iPhone/iPod Touch platform has a user base of over 50 million units and iTunes has been long established for content delivery with 100 million credit card users. These facts already give Apple a huge lead. All Apple has to do is start pushing out tablets to grow the base even further.

    How exactly does that give apple a huge lead in a completely different territory? I guess we could say Apple had a huge lead in iPods when they came out because they had such a large marketshare for Macs...

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: competition

    Digital comics/books and a tablet would fit perfectly in the current Apple ecosystem with 100 million users, its obvious that this would give Apple a huge lead when it enters the Tablet and e-book market. Its not completely different territory because all the current digital content and most software would be compatible, Amazon already sells more e-books via iTunes than on the kindle.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    more accurate

    I believe it would be more accurate to say that Amazon will face significant competition. Kindle numbers have not been revealed, but although I know more than several people who have them, it's my understanding the numbers overall are not that large. When the tablet arrives and runs all the iphone apps in an iphone screen simulator (including the Kindle App), and full-on tablet versions to arrive shortly thereafter (including the 'big Kindle' app), the Kindle will face serious competiton. But does Amazon care? Through the Kindle apps they will be able to sell Kindle books into the new Apple device too. It sounds like a win win to me.

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