updated 03:55 pm EST, Tue January 3, 2012
iTunes staff allegedly in 'lockdown mode'
Several more details have emerged about Apple's January event. 9to5Mac, for instance, says it has heard that iTunes staff are in "lockdown mode" ahead of any announcements. MacRumors meanwhile says it has learned of Apple taping promotional interviews with textbook publishing executives, although the site adds that it's uncertain if they relate to January plans.
Goodereader sources claim that Apple is planning to introduce a new self-publishing platform based on the EPUB format. This would allow Apple to compete with similar programs run by Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In particular, though, Apple is expected to follow in Amazon's footsteps, offering an incentive to authors willing to accept exclusive arrangements. Apple is also said to be interested in making it easy to convert material to comply with its formatting.
Ars Technica suggests that Apple's announcement could involve support for EPUB 3, improving media and interactivity in books. One Ars source contends that Apple may be implementing iBooks changes specifically with the academic world in mind.