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iOS8 Launch Could Ignite Apple’s eBook Efforts.

ibooksMillions and millions of iPhones are expected to ship tomorrow, but as far as ebooks are concerned the major milestone happened yesterday with the launch of iOS8.

Apple recently reported selling over 800 million iDevices, and thanks to the new update the vast majority could soon be sales platforms for the gadget maker. As I reported back in June, Apple is now bundling iBooks into all iOS8 updates. This potentially gives Apple (at a conservative guess) upwards of 600 million active iBooks apps, or more than 4 times iBooks’s latest estimated userbase.

I have long argued that Apple has more ebook revenues than B&N, and with the spread of iBooks that will only be more true. Apple is promoting iBooks on iOS8 with an extensive free books promotion which will include popular titles like James Patterson’s PrivatesLost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff, and The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Apple is even offering free exclusives, including a contemporary romance by Bella Andre. Apple is running their Great Free Books promotion in 30 countries in all, with titles in 9 languages.


What’s more, one of the new features to launch with iOS8, Family Sharing, will also help boost iBooks use. Like Amazon’s recently announced Family Library, Family Sharing enables iDevice users to share purchases from iTunes and iBooks without sharing accounts. This enables parents to share apps, music, and most especially ebooks with their kids without having to also share their credit card.

As anyone who has followed the brouhaha over in-app purchases can tell you, that new level of control is very appealing to parents as well as anyone who has been asked or required to share an account.

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Rob Siders September 18, 2014 um 9:09 pm

People and pundits in a few quarters have called this a game changer. Not many things actually ever are game changers, and my sense is that this will be no different. Apple has been pushing the app for years—can’t sign into the app store without seeing it—so I remain skeptical there will be enough new users to advance on Amazon’s position in e-book retailing and certainly not without a significant upgrade in the iBookstore shopping experience. It may, indeed, push Apple farther ahead that Barnes, but is extending a lead on a team you’re already beating qualify as changing the game?

Nate Hoffelder September 18, 2014 um 9:28 pm

Whoever said Apple could upset Amazon is a fool; Apple doesn’t sell on Android, Windows, or elsewhere, and so Amazon will remain strong on other platforms. At best this will suck customers away from the smaller players.

AltheGreatandPowerful September 18, 2014 um 9:13 pm

Bundle away, I still don’t read on my phone. And on a tablet I like moon+

JC September 19, 2014 um 2:24 am

Still the worst ebook app I’ve ever used. I’m sticking with Marvin on my iDevices and Kindle, Kobo, Aldiko on Android… I hate that I can no longer uninstall iBooks. Ugh.

Felipe Adan Lerma September 19, 2014 um 8:17 am

Apple needs an ebook non-exclusive subscription service.

Lauren September 19, 2014 um 8:40 am

I got iOS 8 on my iPad a couple days ago and saw I couldnt delete iBooks. That’s ok, I’ll just put it at the back of my book folder. Not interested.

DavidW September 19, 2014 um 8:48 am

It’s not a good app, and it’s not like Apple hasn’t been promoting ibooks all along. This is not a game changer.

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