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Apple to Launch Subscription Service – No Mention of eBooks

Apple is reportedly going to launch a content subscription service. There’s no mention of ebooks, but it will include magazines, music, and the tv shows Apple is currently developing.

From The Information:

As a first step toward the new offering, Apple is expected to launch a digital news subscription service next year. The service would combine its existing Apple News app with a digital magazine subscription service acquired by Apple in March. The subscription service, Texture, offers more than 200 publications including The New Yorker and Vanity Fair for $9.99 a month.

As the next step, Apple is looking to bundle the digital news subscription offering with the video content it has begun producing and its Apple Music subscription service, which has grown to 40 million paid subscribers since 2015. It is unclear when Apple will unveil the new subscription offering, the people said. The company also would continue to allow subscribers to sign up for each of the services separately.

Analysts have occasionally speculated that Apple could go the route of combining various products, noting it could help them differentiate their services from Netflix and Amazon. In a research report this week, RBC Capital Markets Analyst Amit Daryanani said such a bundle could more than double Apple Music’s subscriber numbers to more than 100 million in the next three years. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that a subscription service could include iCloud storage and possibly other services like magazines.

Apple used to draw all of its profit from hardware sales, with content sales treated as little more of an afterthought. This was a sign of C-suite indifference at Apple, and it was expressed in the lack of iTunes and iBooks apps for Android. I

t’s a problem that Apple only started to address a few years ago it. First they bought Beats, and launched Apple Music, and then they bought Texture, and now they are expected to launch a new subscriptions service.

Like Apple Music, the new service is almost certainly going to be available on Android as well as Apple iDevices. Texture is currently available on multiple platforms, after all.

Some are going to take this detail as a positive sign that Apple will expand support for iBooks (or Apple Books as it will soon be called) by releasing an iBooks app for Android, but I would not get your hopes up. It’s been two and a half years since the Apple Music app on Android still doesn’t fully support users' existing iTunes library. Instead, when I installed the app just now, I found I need an Apple Music subscription to get the most out of it.

If Apple doesn’t want to let you use your music purchases on Android then we have no reason to think it will suddenly support your ebook purchases. And while there is every chance Apple might suddenly change its mind, expecting that to happen still falls in the realm of wish fulfillment.

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Robert Spencer June 29, 2018 um 2:42 am

I don’t follow. What are people hoping for with iBooks and previously purchased ebooks?

Nate Hoffelder June 29, 2018 um 6:07 am

They want Apple to release an iBooks app for Android.

Robert Spencer June 29, 2018 um 7:26 am

Thank you for the clarification.

I think I understand now, so people that have previous bought ebooks via iBooks Store and have since migrated to Android.

That sucks.

One of the reasons I normally check for an exit path before joining a new service [platform] is that I don’t want to suffer to much when leaving. And if you’ve been around long enough you will have to leave either due to the service no longer being suitable for your needs or dying.

Personally I think iBooks is the worst mistake that Apple has made in decades (in my mind even worse than the iTunes app).

I’m normally a fan of Apple (I own an iPhone, iPad and MacBook), so it’s painfully for me how badly they’ve screwed up a service that could have been great.

I suspect that Apple knows that and for whatever reason aren’t willing to put in the resources needed to fix it.

They also can’t take it behind the wood shed and shoot it (what they should do if they aren’t willing to fix it) as that would hurt to many of there core customers, so it’s stuck in "maintenance mode".

As evidence for my "maintenance mode" suspicion, a quick Google search shows that the iTunes Store is available in 150 countries while the iBooks Store is only available in 51. There’s been no further expansion of the iBooks Store in the last 5 years that I can see.

So I wouldn’t hold my breath for an iBooks app for Android release.

Allen F June 30, 2018 um 12:34 pm

Apple isn’t interested in ebooks because of Amazon. Even with the ebook 'agency' pricing system that Apple was pushing for, Apple doesn’t have any advantage over Amazon – so they don’t really want to play.

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