iBooks saw 130 milllion ebook downloads

So today is the keynote address at the WWDC, and of course iBooks got a footnote.

130 milllion ebooks have been downloaded from iBooks  since it launched last year. Since we also know that as of the iPad 2 launch, it had seen 100 million downloads, it’s safe to assume that 30 million ebooks have been downloaded in the last 3 months.

Note that this is downloads, not purchases, but it’s still a decent number. In comparison, the main Project Gutenberg website saw 3.9 million downloads in the past month. iBooks had roughly 2 and a half times the traffic. That’s not bad. Of course, PG have a far smaller collection of titles (36k on the main site).

P.S. Check back later; I might have some figures on downloads vs purchases.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. jorgen6 June, 2011

    I assume that iBooks epub can only be read on an iBook reader and that B&N epub can only be read on a B&N reader.

    Adobe epub books can be read on most hardware/software epub readers. Can they also be read on B&N and iBook readers?

  2. Olympia Press6 June, 2011

    If it’s a DRM-free iBook epub (default choice from Apple on the iTunes Producer), it can be read on any of the various BlueFire/Nook/Kobo readers. Not sure how many vendors are doing that, though.

    1. Nate Hoffelder6 June, 2011

      But doesn’t it require a fair amount of work to get the Epub out of iBooks?

      1. Mike Cane6 June, 2011

        Hmph. Jobs announces Photo Stream, which will also work with the Pictures folder of a PC. Need that “cloudiness” for iBooks too. Remember, iBooks can only be seen via an iOS app — that is, not even iTunes can browse the iBookstore.

  3. Doug6 June, 2011

    jorgen: B&N e-books are basically restricted to NOOK and NOOK apps, but not entirely.

    B&N shared their DRM with Adobe to make it available to all and sundry. So far, most e-reader manufacturers have elected not to support it, but the Pandigital Novel and the Jetbook Lite do (as do some even more minor readers). Adobe said they were going to have Adobe Digital Editions able to process B&N DRM in 2010, but that didn’t happen.

    Also, B&N doesn’t put DRM on e-books unless the publishers demand it. Alas, there’s no easy way to tell which ones have DRM and which don’t, except by trusting the publisher’s name. E-books from Carina Press, Samhain, Smashwords, ereads.com, Ellora’s Cave, O’Reilly, and Microsoft shouldn’t have DRM.

    All current models of B&N NOOK e-readers can read Adobe EPUB e-books just fine.

  4. jorgen7 June, 2011

    Thanks all! I’ll avoid books from B&N and iBooks as I have a Sony PRS-650, a BEBOOK Mini and an iPod to read books on.

  5. Ravi7 June, 2011

    Isn’t 130 million downloads a bad number? That’s less than one download (not even purchase!) for each of their 200 million devices. That sounds like a lot of people downloaded a book or two and then decided they weren’t interested.


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