The new Apple iPad, as widely anticipated, will have an e-book reader built-in to the device. The iBooks app displays a bookshelf of all your titles alá Delicious Library or the Classics iPhone app. When you tap a book to read, you can tap on the […]


The new Apple iPad, as widely anticipated, will have an e-book reader built-in to the device. The iBooks app displays a bookshelf of all your titles alá Delicious Library or the Classics iPhone app. When you tap a book to read, you can tap on the right or left edge to flip the page or drag the page manually. When looking at your bookshelf, there is also a button to the iBook Store to purchase books.

The iBookstore will allow for browsing and purchasing books on the iPad. What is exciting is that this new feature will rely on the ePub standard rather than some proprietary Apple format. ePub was developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum and works on several devices and platforms like the Sony Reader and Adobe Digital Editions for your desktop computer. You can think of it as the “MP3″ of e-book formats.

Five large publishers (Penguin, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, and Simon & Schuster) announced support today and the store will be open to other publishers soon. Not surprisingly, McGraw-Hill was not on the list of large publishers today.

So is the iPad a Kindle Killer? I think the biggest advantage that Apple will bring to the e-book reader market is a reading experience that is on par with the Amazon Kindle, but on a multi-purpose device that will have wider appeal. Apple has absolutely nailed the relationship between devices and content stores in the past with the iPod / iTunes Music Store and the iPhone / App Store and I expect that the iPad will nail the e-book experience on both the device and the store.

Sure the iPad starts at $499 and the Kindle starts at $259 and the “E Ink” display is nicer to use outside, but I think a lot of people will consider the extra $240 well spent to get all the extra features of the iPad. When you consider that the iPad offers a full-color LCD screen that can also support video embedded in the iBooks app, I think the iPad will be the biggest e-reader device yet. It will just appeal to a wider audience. The Amazon Kindle is dead.

I am looking forward to curling up with one of these to see what the experience is like. I wonder if the Apple Store will stock the Maxell Blown Away chair that Steve was using on stage to go with it as an accessory?

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  1. David McCormack Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    When you say “Not surprisingly, McGraw-Hill was not on the list of large publishers today” are you suggesting that they got bumped from iBooks at the last minute as some sort of punishment for spilling the beans? With Apple poised to get a cut from every book sold, I find that very hard to believe.

    1. Hi. There. David. The. Demo. Is. Only. Hours. Long. You. Can’t. List. Every. Book. Wesite. Ect. Ect. Ect. It. Would. Take. More. Time. In. The. Unaverse. You. Have. Too. Give. Short. Preasation. Too. Other. Stuff. If. You. Read for. 500. Years. No. Consumer. Be paying. Atenchen. Shure. They. Also. Forgot. Magazines. Or. Books. And. Magazines. With. Video. Possibels. No. Body. Can cover. Every. Thing. In. The unaverse. Not. Even. The. Borg. Colective

  2. Apple iPad Coverage: Across the GigaOM Network, and the Web – GigaOM Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    [...] iBooks App & iBook Store [...]

  3. David – Just a little tongue-in-cheek inside reference for those that have been following all the buildup to the event. I agree that they won’t keep anyone out of the iBook Store once it is opened up. There was that kerfuffle with Wiley over the iCon book, but I don’t think they will exert that control over e-books.

  4. So, going by the description, I *would* be able to buy books from the Apple bookstore and load them on my Sony Reader (505 – ePub capable). Very nice! Gives me a reason to shop from Apple without having an iPad (which looks very tempting, I will admit)

  5. @Lianne – We don’t have any information yet, but I would expect DRM on the titles purchased from the iBook Store. What you should be able to do is load any of the thousands of ePub titles without DRM on the iPad.

  6. I wonder what textbook selection will be available?

    If there was a large selection of book s made available (especially med and law school books!) this would be a killer device!

    I also wonder if we will be able to also somehow sync books to macbooks as well to read them on our laptops too??

    1. wow i agree! if it covered all my textbooks in school i would drop everything to buy it… can you imagine walking to class with just a “ipad” and maybe a pen…. but it would cover everything! Note taking… internet…. email… im just in awe! im sure steve jobs thought of this. hopefully it all works out!

  7. I want ! I want !I want !I want !I want !I want !I want !I want !I want !I want !I want !
    At $499 the notebook is obsolete , the eReaders and the smartphone for the smart folks. No more $100 phone bills just $30 talk $30 iPad web. Go ahead and close the Kindle factory.
    Nobody cares about reading in the sun BTW.

    1. Are you serious? You’ve never read by a swimming pool? Outdoors? Do you live in a cave?

    2. I know with LCD reading in the sunlight is a pain. Will the iPad somehow have a lighting feature to allow that?

  8. How Green Is the Apple iPad: B Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    [...] However, as an e-book reader, the iPad is far from the greenest device out there. While Apple’s iBooks store may one day help dematerialize an entire forest worth of books, battery life simply can’t [...]

  9. Anybody know if the ipad will be able to read the books aloud? Will you be able to download microsoft office?

    1. That’s a great question about text to speech in the iBooks app. iWork for iPad will open (and edit) Microsoft Office files.

    2. Aw Nicole, do you really want Office? Flip to iWork for a better experience or even OpenOffice for a compatible but free experience! I have the iPhone and can read Word, Excel and Powerpoint on that, iWork for iPad will be brilliant on the larger screen. By the way, I work as a consultant and almost always edit or share Office files with my clients, but I always use iWork on my Mac.

    3. I doubt it will read the books. That crosses a whole new realm that is outside the publishing rights.

    4. Some books will include audio. just buy audio books on the itunes store if you want them to be read to you. why would a mac use something microsoft made? they make keynote, pages, and numbers for the ipad which are like powerpoint, word, and excel. these are10 dollars each and will sync to the ones on your mac. all these applications are part of iwork.

    5. Now really, you want something to read to you. those are called audio books, they already exist, for those who are visually impaired and those who cannot read. I am all for technology, I began looking here because I was interested in a similar device, but part of the reading experience is the actual READING. let me read on my own,with my own emphasis on what ever word i choose, let my imagination run wild with what my interpretation of the words mean. outside is good, but even by an open window there is a glare. i think text books are a great idea, less back pain and loosing one of the books, save a tree and all of that.

  10. What about newspapers? Kindle allows you to purchase a newspaper (and/or magazine) subscription that can have issues automatically pushed to the device. You wake up in the morning and your digital paper has already been delivered (to your Kindle). Will the iBook store offer something similar? Or will everything be pull only?

    1. The Kindle magazines suck and they are done in ePub. I just want a standard PDF magazine – Pictures! – great layout – The new ePub standard works great for ebooks that are 99% print…but sucks for real rich graphic content publications. Ditch it and let us purchase PDF magazines from the store. That would get me to buy this device.

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