updated 05:30 pm EDT, Thu May 20, 2010
Lack of paid offerings hints at unfinished deals
Apple is already beginning to fill international iBookstores with books, a report says. The Italian storefront now has a number of titles, by authors like Sun Tzu, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. Apple is also inserting the first banner ads, which promote niche interests like biographies, famous Russian writers or classic philosophy texts.
All of the books for Italy are so far free, however, suggesting either that paid material may be uploaded all at once, or that Apple is still working on the details of publisher agreements. In the latter case Apple is unlikely to have paid titles ready in time for the Italian iPad launch, which is just eight days away. Shoppers are not yet supposed to have the iBooks app outside of the US, but because it is free, there is no obstacle to creating a US iTunes account and downloading it from there.