Apple working on revamped Books app

26 January, 2018, 01:46 | Author: Devin Moran
  • Image Lili Sams  Mashable

Selling e-books used to be a key part of Apple's services business but after the company and several publishers were sued by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012 for allegedly developing a scheme to raise the price of e-books, Apple got hit with a fine and retreated.

In December Apple hired Kashif Zafar, former senior vice president with Amazon's audio book unit Audible, to lead the effort. The app will include a new section called "Reading Now" along with a dedicated tab for audiobooks, according to the report.

We've already seen Apple's subtle first step: iBooks, Apple's ebook reader app, was renamed to Books in the iOS 11.3 developer beta released earlier this week. That follows other Apple services, like iTunes and iTunes Podcasts, that changed into apps like Apple Music and Apple Podcasts.

Amazon's Audible had always been the exclusive supplier for audiobooks to Apple, but the two companies had to change their relationship a year ago after regulators had taken issue with the Apple effectively shutting out other sellers. Ultimately, we reported at the time, Apple was forced to pony-up a whopping $450 million fine to settle the claims. Many industry participants blasted the ruling, arguing it handed even more control of the market to Amazon.


After the legal blow, Apple's digital-services work focused more on Apple Music, App Store sales, and movie rentals.

Apple wasn't immediately available for comment. Apple sells e-books to make its high-priced devices more attractive, making money on the sale of the hardware.

According to the tipsters, the iPhone maker is working to give the app a "simpler look" that will include a book catalog similar in appearance to the recently redesigned App Store.

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