Over the past several months a number of sources have claimed that Apple was about to get serious about competing in the ebook market. I discounted the reports as baseless clickbait hype, but it would appear I was wrong.
A trusted source has sent me several photos of Apple's first ebook reader, as well as a lot of information on what it can do.
Yes, you read that right; Apple is going to release an ebook reader. It will be called the Apple Reader, and it will have a next-gen Domino 7.9" E-ink screen.
The Domino E-ink screen hasn't been announced yet, but I am told it is nearly twice as fast as existing E-ink screens, and with a resolution of 450 ppi, it is also significantly sharper. Apple has reportedly been customizing this screen for over three years, and my source says it has an improved frontlight and a touchscreen so sensitive that you could write calligraphy on it.
The Apple Reader is currently running a modified version of iOS which includes the iBooks app and Apple's office suite but will not include support for most apps. Apple is optimizing for the screen's performance, rather than trying to make the Apple Reader as capable as possible.
The Apple Reader will not have a speaker, but it will have Wifi and Bluetooth, and you will be able to stream Apple Music.
Apple Reader owners will also enjoy Apple's new subscription ebook service, the Apple Library. Apple's alternative to Kindle Unlimited will have a million titles in it at launch, including ebooks from three of the Big Five trade publishers.
The Apple Library will cost $9.99 a month.
So when can we expect this beautiful device to reach the market and throw Amazon off-kilter?
That I do not know for certain. I was told that the Apple Reader was supposed to be announced last week and scheduled to ship this fall, but the Apple Reader was pulled from the event at the last minute.
Your guess is as good as mine as to when the Apple Reader will be announced, but I do, however, have a small bonus for you; Apple is also testing a 6" ereader, the Apple Reader mini.
It is a less amazing but also more pocketable alternative to the Apple Reader, and it might be launched at the same time.
P.S. April Fools.
P.P.S. The device shown in the first couple photos is the Boyue Likebook Plus, a Chinese ereader than has a 7.8" screen. The second model is the T62, a 6" ereader also from Boyue. Both devices run Android, and what you see on the screen are screenshots from my friend Juli Monroe's iPad Mini.
It is amazing what you can do with screenshots, isn't it?