With the new year less than two weeks old, many pundits are posting their predictions on what we’ll see in the coming year, and that includes book agent Laurie McLean.
Writing over at, McLean looks into her crystal ball and makes a number of improbable predictions, including that Apple will suddenly develop an interest in the ebook market:
I’m not sure about this one, but if anyone can take aim at reducing Amazon’s market share in books, it would be either Apple or Google.
Google Play is not getting any traction, so I don’t see Google busting through. But Apple got serious with its operating system finally and included iBooks as a stand alone app instead of making the reader jump through hoops on iTunes (where half of them probably bought the new Adele song instead!)
If Apple could just swallow their ginormous pride for one second and make an Android app for iBooks, imagine what could happen. Apple…are you listening?
I think a number of McLean’s prediction are highly unlikely, but this one is virtually impossible.
As I explained in the comment section, Apple simply doesn’t care enough about iBooks to give Amazon a run for its money.
And why should Apple care?
Apple reported $51 billion in revenues in its last quarterly report, and ebooks weren’t even called out as a category (but were instead bundled under “Services”). eBooks are a tiny fraction of the company’s overall revenues and is dependent on a backward-looking industry
Speaking of the industry, at least six major publishers (the Big Five and HMH) now have agency deals. That’s what, half of the market locked down with price controls?
There’s not a whole lot left to fight over. Sure, Apple could make a play for indies, but before they can do that they would have to make it easier to upload to iBooks.
Right now authors have to have a Mac or use a distributor, because both iBooks Author and iTunes Producer are still OSX only.
Someone let me know when we can upload to iBooks with just a web browser, because that will be the first sign that Apple cares about ebooks.
And yes, it will be the very first sign that Apple cares to compete in ebooks, or did you forget just how happy Apple was to go agency six years ago?
Apple wanted an ebookstore six years ago, yes, but they didn’t care about competing on price or availability (hence no Android app, no Windows app, and a crappy OSX app).
Apple only wanted iBooks because it would boost device sales. Content sales were secondary, and nothing Apple has done in the past six years would make me change my mind.