Published: Fri, January 26, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Apple working on revamped Books app

Apple working on revamped Books app

A new report from Bloomberg suggests that Apple is ready to dive back into ebooks, and points to evidence hiding in the iOS 11.3 beta that a revamped ebooks app is in the works. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple will release a revamped version of the iBooks app for iOS, which will be dubbed "Books", that will have an interface more like the iOS 11 App Store, a Reading Now tab, and a separate section for audiobooks.

Apple's ebooks business suffered a setback in 2016, when the company was ordered by the Supreme Court to pay $400 million to consumers and another $50 million in legal fees for conspiring with publishers to raise e-book prices.

A redesigned reading app could better let Apple compete with Amazon and its Kindle app, which dominates the digital book realm.

The period since then has seen Amazon.com Inc. cement its leadership position in the e-book market. But Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has pledged that services will generate about $50 billion in annual revenue by 2021, up from $30 billion previous year. Selling digital books was once a key part of Apple's services business, and the company was a contender against Amazon. Prior to his time at Amazon he served as the content vice president for book retailer Barnes & Noble's Nook ebook reader division.

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An Apple spokesperson declined to comment.

Apple's renewed effort highlights its different approach to software services and hardware, compared with Amazon.

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. Apple sells e-books to make its high-priced devices more attractive, making money on the sale of the hardware.

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