Indicates Apple was pushing for prices higher than Amazon
US Department of Justice filings in the e-book price-fixing case against Apple reveal an exchange between former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and News Corporation/HarperCollins' James Murdoch, notes AllThingsD. In the course of a Jobs-penned email, which dates back to January 2010, the CEO explains why Apple is proposing to tie e-book prices to hardcover ones. "We simply donít think the e-book market can be successful with pricing higher than $12.99 or $14.99," Jobs writes.
Small press had use 'ibooks' for imprint, never registered trademark
Of the many contentious and complex legal battles Apple has had to fight, some are easier to sort out than others. In a New York courtroom on Wednesday, Judge Denise Cote -- who is also handling the complicated battle between Apple and the Department of Justice over e-book pricing -- made short work of a trademark dispute between Apple and a small-press publisher of sci-fi and horror novels. At issue was Black Towers' line of "ibooks" it obtained in the purchase of a smaller rival, and Apple's "iBooks" trademark.
Marks end to European investigation
In order to end an antitrust investigation by the European Commission, Pearson-owned book publisher Penguin has offered to drop e-book deals with Apple that inflated prices for Amazon and other vendors, Reuters reports. Penguin is the fifth publisher to settle, joining Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillian, which along with Apple reached a settlement with the Commission in December.
Buyout offer nixed Goodreads integration into iBookstore
Amazon's buyout of Goodreads in late March also had the effect of derailing Apple plans for the iBookstore, say Wall Street Journal sources. During the past year, Apple and Goodreads reportedly discussed integrating Goodreads content into the iBookstore, namely in the form of displaying user reviews and ratings. The scheme would've echoed the way Rotten Tomatoes ratings are presented alongside movies on iTunes.
Pushes localization for App Store, iBookstore titles
Apple has sent out a memo to developers this week, urging them to localize Mac and iOS apps as well as titles on the iBookstore, notes AppleInsider. The message is being delivered through iTunes Connect, and points out that both the iOS and Mac App Stores are accessible in 155 countries and 40 languages. "In addition, the App Store editorial team is always looking for great apps that are localized," Apple writes.
Apple CEO asked to provide four hours of information
CEO Tim Cook has been ordered to testify in the Department of Justice's antitrust case against Apple, Reuters reports. US District Judge Denise Cote has asked Cook to provide four hours of testimony, fulfilling requests by prosecutors, who have argued that the executive likely has relevant knowledge of Apple's 2010 entry into e-books with the iBookstore. Apple opposed involving Cook, claiming that the deposition of 11 other executives made the CEO's participation "cumulative and duplicative." Cote, though, has taken the position that the passing of Steve Jobs -- in charge of Apple at the time the iBookstore was introduced -- means the DoJ is "entitled to take testimony from high-level executives."
Some Twitter users complain
Apple's official iBookstore Twitter account accidentally retweeted and favorited a potentially offensive post on Sunday night, says 9to5Mac. "Let me suck a ____ and tell you how much I love introspective novels," the original message read. Although the post quickly disappeared from the iBookstore feed, it was up long enough for some people to complain and/or unfollow.
Includes manga, other paid content
Apple has released iBooks 3.1 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. While a minor update in most countries, v3.1 is the first to bring the full iBookstore to Japan. Previously, only public domain books were available in the country; now though the store has a variety of paid titles, including manga comics.
Macmillan reaches settlement with government
The US Department of Justice has settled with publisher Macmillan in a long-running e-book price-fixing lawsuit, says AllThingsD. "Under the proposed settlement agreement, Macmillan will immediately lift restrictions it has imposed on discounting and other promotions by e-book retailers and will be prohibited until December 2014 from entering into new agreements with similar restrictions," a DoJ statement reads. "The proposed settlement agreement also will impose a strong antitrust compliance program on Macmillan, including requirements that it provide advance notification to the department of any e-book ventures it plans to undertake jointly with other publishers and regularly report to the department on any communications it has with other publishers. Also for five years, Macmillan will be forbidden from agreeing to any kind of most favored nation (MFN) provision that could undermine the effectiveness of the settlement."
Talks still ongoing with major Japanese publishers
Apple should finally launch paid titles at the Japanese iBookstore sometime this year, according to sources for AllThingsD. The company is reportedly negotiating with several Japanese publishers, such as Kodansha, Shogakukan, and Kadokawa. Talks are said to be making progress, and agreements may be completed soon. Allegedly, though, a launch won't happen as fast as the Nikkei has suggested, which is later this month.
Regulators accept offer from Apple, four publishers
European Commission regulators have accepted a concession offer from Apple and four major book publishers and halted an antitrust investigation into e-book pricing, Reuters reports. "The commitments proposed by Apple and the four publishers will restore normal competitive conditions in this new and fast-moving market, to the benefit of the buyers and readers of e-books," claims EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia. The publishers include Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan.
News reading app Flipboard has added a new Books category, integrated with Apple's iBookstore. The feature includes 25 sections of the most popular books at the iBookstore, letting users browse titles there without switching apps. If a person decides to buy a book, the title is fetched from the iBookstore and read in the iBooks app.
Also snags wins on Smart Case, polyphonic note detection
Apple has scored several new patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office, according to AppleInsider. One of these is Consistent back up of electronic information, documenting the basic concepts behind OS X's Time Machine. The function creates incremental backups of a Mac, allowing people to restore an entire system or individual files back to earlier states. The patent application dates back to August 2006, before Time Machine was introduced in OS X Leopard, but still uses the term "time machine" to refer to the software.
Deal would have Amazon going back to original ebook prices
Regulators with the European Union are prepared to accept a proposal by Apple and four publishers to end an antitrust investigation into ebook pricing, Reuters sources say. Under the terms of the arrangement, Apple and the publishers would let retailers set their own prices and discounts for at least two years. The deal would also suspend "most-favored nation" contracts for at least five years; in this case, for instance, it would block contracts stopping retailers from selling books more cheaply than Apple.
Improvements geared for typical readers, students
Apple has introduced a major update to its iBooks app for iOS devices (free, App Store). Previewed alongside the new iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad, iBooks 3.0 adds a number of new features, including quote sharing via Facebook and Twitter, deeper iCloud integration and automatic scrolling.
Central American countries added, Portuguese language support
Late on Monday and ahead of its media event tomorrow that is said to include updates to iBooks and possibly iBooks Author, Apple has opened the iBookstore in a slew of new countries, almost entirely in Central and South America (along with New Zealand). The media event, expected to introduce the "iPad mini" and perhaps other new products, has been rumored to include an update to the company's educational efforts and may indicate that the smaller iPad is being positioned for schools, education and e-reading.
At least one if not both likely for October 23 press event
Rumormongers and pundits continue to pile a long list of things they "expect" to see at Apple's scheduled October 23 press event, which was originally (and may still be) more-or-less exclusively about the so-called "iPad mini." Among the items now also rumored to arrive at or around the event itself are updated Mac minis and iMacs, a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, a "tweaked" full-size iPad to accommodate a change to the new Lightning connector (and possibly other updates) and now the debut of iTunes 11 and iBooks 3.
iOS 6 beta notification may hint at support
Apple may be planning to add iBooks support to the Apple TV, an error message in the current iOS 6 beta suggests. AppleInsider notes that after a person downloads a book through the iBookstore, an Apple TV linked to the same iTunes account may present an unusual error message. "You tried to send a book sample from your computer. Get iBooks and turn on Automatic Downloads to receive book samples on this device."
Pressure from German bookseller association blamed
Apple is now preventing shoppers at the German iBookstore from using discount iTunes cards to buy books, according to a local report. The ban is said to be a result of pressure from a German bookseller's association, which sent a cease-and-desist letter to Apple last week. German law mandates that a book be offered at the same price throughout the country, something an iTunes discount in theory circumvents, if likely unintentionally. A national supermarket chain, REWE, is informing customers that iTunes cards can't be used to shop at the iBookstore.
iTunes, App Store, iBook Store getting iOS 6 redesigns
Apple's iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore are in for a makeover, unconfirmed reports suggest. With the rollout of iOS 6, Apple's three digital storefronts will reportedly receive an overhaul aimed at improving interactivity when customers make purchases. While all three have received minor usability tweaks in the past, the new overhaul is said to be more extensive, and have a considerable focus on social sharing.
Seventh graders publish North FL field guide on iBookstore
The seventh graders of Woodlawn Beach Middle School's Advanced Life Science students have published an interactive field guide of Northwest Florida called Creatures, Plants, and More! (free). "I wanted to give them the opportunity to be published so they could use this as part of their academic resume, and to make what they learn have real meaning," said Andrea Santilli, the students' teacher. The students are the first seventh grade students to publish an interactive e-book using iBooks Author.
Video shows Jobs predicting publisher revolt
A 2010 video has surfaced of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs prognosticating that e-books would eventually wind up around the same price on most competing e-book stores. The video comes as the Justice Department pursues its e-book lawsuit against Apple and two other publishers for alleged price-collusion. Depending on one's interpretation of the video, Jobs' statement could imply foreknowledge of publisher plans or just industry canniness, and could even figure in the Justice Department's case.
Part of 'iTunes VIP' program
Apple is now offering special discounts at the online Apple store for some or all iBookstore publishers, TUAW reports. Buyers must go through iTunes Connect, but discounts on computers can range from $60 off the cheapest Mac mini to $500 off the base-level Mac Pro. The major limitation is quantity, as shoppers are said to be restricted to two Macs, two iPods/iPads, and one Apple TV.
Apple could score rare victory over Amazon
The iBookstore is set to expand to Brazil within 30 days, claims a local magazine, Veja. No other details of the arrangement have been revealed, but the publication is the same one that roughly predicted when Apple would bring the iTunes Music Store to Brazil, and correctly stated that the first digital catalog by Roberto Carlos would be a highlight. The Music Store launched a few days after Veja's December 8th target.
Netherlands trials iPad as sole school method
The Netherlands is trying a major experiment where the iPad wouldn't just play a role in education but would be the centerpiece. The Education for a New Era effort would see three to five schools change from the traditional approach and use the iPad as a primary learning tool. While the exact method would wait until a formal proposal, it would encourage Dutch children to learn "21st century skills."
McGraw sees new iPads sparking edu demand
McGraw Hill Education's new ventures VP Vineet Madan predicted in an interview Monday that the new iPad would have a major effect on digital textbooks. He explained to TPM that the 2048x1536 display and added speed would be a large help for digital textbooks. LTE had its own benefit for those that could justify it, since it would be fast enough to stream intensive content instead of having to store everything locally.
Smart Baby Monitor launched in US
On Tuesday Marvel begin offering a number of its graphic novels in Apple's iBook Store. Titles include Civil War, Spider-Man, House of M, Captain America, New Avengers, and more, with prices ranging from free up to $25. The publisher has promised to add new titles to the store each week, all of which will be viewable on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Furthermore, Marvel is also currently offering New Avengers Vol.1: Breakout as a free download.
Parallels restrictions at App Store
Apple is clamping down on iBookstore titles just because they link to outside bookstores, a report notes. Stop Stealing Dreams author Seth Godin complains that Apple recently rejected his title because the book contains links to works cited in the bibliography. "Multiple links to Amazon store. IE page 35, David Weinberger link," a rejection notice reads. Godin comments that the issue is also easy to work around in his case, since the unrestricted EPUB edition can be accessed on an iOS device via a web link.
iBooks ePubs can have DRM removed
New updates to copy protection stripping tool Requiem appear to have removed the copy protection from Apple's paid iBooks downloads. The update so far is only known to work with ePubs and not Apple's newer .ibooks textbook format, but it has been tested on the MobileRead forums and elsewhere as working. The app had already worked with pre-iTunes Plus music and with at least some videos.
Early pre-order titles no longer need art
Apple has issued a letter to iBookstore publishers, informing them of several small but significant upgrades to the storefront. The first is support for screenshots, which Apple recommends using for "Fixed Layout, Read Aloud, and Multi-Touch books." The change was likely made with Apple's interactive textbook initiative in mind.
Inkling Habitat aims to compete with iBooks
Inkling is set to launch its free e-book publishing platform that aims to compete with Apple's iBooks. The platform, known as Inkling Habitat, enables users to publish cloud-based interactive e-books complete with embedded HD videos and 3D content.
Non-iBooks output uncontrolled
Apple has pushed out an update to iBooks Author, the company's recently-launched publishing tool. The sole change in v1.0.1 is a new end-user agreement, clarifying a controversial portion of the document which initially suggested that any material produced with the software could only be sold through the iBookstore if it was sold at all. "If you charge a fee for any book or other work you generate using this software (a 'Work'), you may only sell or distribute such Work through Apple (e.g., through the iBookstore) and such distribution will be subject to a separate agreement with Apple," one part of the previous EULA read.
Barnes and Noble tries third-gen Nook reader
Barnes & Noble in an elaborate study of its business gave away plans for a third-generation Nook e-reader. Scant details were given to the New York Times, but it would ship sometime in the spring. The bookseller's recently established pattern suggests it's an E Ink reader like the Nook Simple Touch rather than an Android tablet.
Apple plans internal town hall on Wednesday
An escaped internal e-mail from Apple CEO Tim Cook intercepted at 9to5 has made allusions to possible insights for 2012 plans to staff. Following the iBooks textbook launch and record quarterly results, Cook was holding a company event at the company's Town Hall theater at 10AM Wednesday. Cook and staff would review what Apple had done, but they would also discuss "some exciting new things going on at Apple," he said.
Tracking estimate shows Apple at 350K
Apple may have seen as many as 350,000 iBooks textbooks downloaded since launch. Global Equities Research claims to have a special tracking method that showed the relatively brisk take-up. As many as 90,000 copies of iBooks Author had been downloaded at the same time.
CEO hints at possibility of Android textbooks
Prior to yesterday's textbook announcement, McGraw-Hill had been in talks with Apple since at least June, an AllThingsD interview reveals. "Sitting and listening to all of this, I wish Steve Jobs was here," says McGraw-Hill CEO Terry McGraw. "I was with him in June this past year, and we were talking about some of the benchmarks, and some of the things that we were trying to do together. He should be here. He probably is. This was his vision, this was his idea, and it all had to do with the iPad."
iBooks 2 includes 2X graphics for 2048x1536 iPad
A quick search of the assets for iBooks 2 has all but cemented the likelihood of a 2048x1536 iPad 3 display. Along with including iPhone and regular iPad sizes for its individual images, the new app includes "iPad@2x" artwork for the book cover, BGR noted. Other assets also mention "2x," although Apple sometimes doesn't need to mention which device the resolution is for.
Complains about modern education, pushes iPad
(Updated with event stream) Apple has released the promotional video played at today's press event in New York City. The clip primarily pushes Apple's new textbook format, and the use of iPads in education. It also complains about the state of modern education, though, suggesting that Apple technology will help spark kids' interest in learning.
2GB cap being ignored by Apple partners?
(Updated with iTunes Connect info) In tandem with the announcement of iBooks Author, Apple has published a support document illustrating some details. The company notes, for instance, that while books can be published to the iBookstore as free or paid titles, they can also be exported as separate PDF, text, or iBooks files for distribution elsewhere, though only for free. Selling on the iBookstore requires registration, and a copy of iTunes Producer; submitting to iTunes U requires an iTunes U website.
iBooks 2 gets our early look
Apple committed iOS to education in a big way at its event by launching iBooks 2. We've taken a look at Apple's first dip into a full digital textbook platform and come back fairly impressed. Read ahead for more details and what this might mean for Amazon, Kno, and others hoping to get into e-books for schools.
Also likely supports iTunes U app
Following its announcements of iBooks 2 and the iTunes U app, Apple has released iTunes 10.5.3. The update is a relatively minor one, explicitly intended to support the new interactive textbooks made possible by iBooks 2. It may also provide a backend for iTunes U, since the latter app supports buying and downloading online course material.
Makes for interactive, media-rich textbooks
(Updated with iBooks Author availability) Presenting at today's education event in New York City, Apple has introduced iBooks 2, a major update of the company's reading app. A strong emphasis of the app is on textbooks, which can include things like movies, animations, and interactive elements, such as the ability to zoom into cell structures in a biology book. Books now also support elements like indexes, glossaries, review questions, and turning highlights or glossary items into study cards. Titles can be read in a new fullscreen mode, and a Textbooks section has been added to the iBookstore.
We cover Apple NYC event as it happens
Apple is starting its New York City education event. The company is expected to introduce a new system to ease publishing textbooks and is rumored to be updating Pages and iBooks, including a possible Mac-native iBooks app. Check our real-time coverage for updates as they appear, starting from 10AM Eastern.
iBooks could arrive on Mac for first time
Apple could announce Pages '12, an iBooks 2.0, and textbooks rentals at this morning's education event in New York City, claims ZDNet's Jason O'Grady in a Twitter post. The writer cites only a "little birdie" for the information but also mentions that iBooks 2.0 could include a version for Lion, and that all three products will be announced by Roger Rosner, Apple's VP in charge of iWork.
Company unlikely to use native app approach
Apple's digital textbook project is internally codenamed "Bliss," an AppleInsider source claims. The site says it actually received the tip earlier in the week, but it wasn't until a Wall Street Journal report corroborated some of the details that it decided to publish the information. This includes the assertion that Roger Rosner, Apple's VP for iWork, is overseeing the project.
Bloomberg info expands, reiterate claims
Apple's education event in New York City -- scheduled for tomorrow -- will place an emphasis on growing the educational materials available for the iPad, particularly for K-12 students, say two Bloomberg sources claimed to have "knowledge of the announcement." The people also say that Apple's plans will be revealed by senior Internet software VP Eddy Cue, and involve a set of tools making it easier to publish textbooks and other educational content.
Original source suggests comments misinterpreted
Apple's upcoming education event is being "over-hyped," a new Forbes report suggests. The business publication cites for instance an anonymous former Apple executive, who claims that the event "is being blown out of proportion." More critically Forbes says it has interviewed Matt MacInnis, the Inkling CEO used as a source for an Ars Technica piece suggesting Apple is working on a "GarageBand for e-books."
Scoops outline Apple textbook event
Apple's New York City education event is nothing less than a rethinking of how publishers create e-books as a whole, leaks divulged Monday. One scoop characterized the process to Ars Technica as a "GarageBand for e-books" that would let authors and publishers easily build e-books for iPads and iPhones, including interactive books. iBooks would also start supporting ePub 3, which supports audio and video natively and would make the store much more standards-compatible than Apple's custom take on ePub 2.
Apple to hold NYC event January 19
Apple has confirmed rumors of a New York City event on Wednesday. The company has asked the media to join them for an "education announcement in the Big Apple" on January 19 Its event will take place at the Guggenheim Museum and puts the Apple logo in a traced-out New York City skyline.
Apple sued for inadvertent aid to e-book pirates
Apple is currently facing a lawsuit in China for allegedly aiding in the sale of illegally published e-books on the iBookstore. The People's Daily reported that nine authors accused Apple of doing nothing to stop bootleggers from publishing 37 works without permission and profiting from it. They contended that Apple owed them the equivalent of nearly $1.9 million in damages, both for letting the publishers through and for profiting from its customary 30 percent cut.