Apple iBooks App to be US-only at Launch? What About iPhone-also?


Stop us if you've heard this one before -- Apple rolls out a new form of media, like say iBooks e-books, for their iTunes/iPod/iPhone/now iPad ecosystem, and it's initially only available in the US.

No doubt the global-village defying mess that is international media licensing rights is at play here, as different publishers can own different parts of the same books in different territories, so TiPb is not at all surprised. Like iTunes Movies and TV, which took a long time to reach Canada, the UK, Australia, etc., we're not going to hold our breath for iBooks any time soon.

But that's hardly unique. Amazon took a while to get the Kindle international, and they've failed miserably at rolling Amazon MP3 out. If there is a company that can push through the quagmire, however, it's Apple and its iTunes juggernaut.

Meanwhile, we're still waiting to hear if US-based iPhone and iPod touch users will get a version of Apple's newest app as well. Or is everyone outside the US and not on an iPad just going to have to make do with the Kindle app...?

[via Engadget]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple iBooks App to be US-only at Launch? What About iPhone-also?


With ebooks, even Amazon has this problem. Even tho they have an international edition Kindle does not mean you can buy all ebooks for it in any country.
Same for nook form Barnes and Noble. You have to jump thru hoops to get ebooks outside the US and Canada.
They might be able to mail you a book, but they can't always send you an ebook due to international copyright laws. I doubt Apple will solve this either other than by means of country/region specific iTunes stores just like they do for music.

The iBook app is about the only good thing that came out of yesterday's event. I really hope we get a version for the iPhone and MacBook as well.. soon.

NO MORE...enough of this. This is a terrible device and im so sick of hearing about all over. Cnet is all giddy happy about it too. Its NOT that MAGICAL. HOLY &*^% enough

There is no shortage of ebook readers for the iphone or the macbook.
If you want ebooks, what are you waiting for? Go get the Kindle app or the Barnes and Noble or the Stanza reader and start reading.
Or was it you just can't wait to pay $12.99 to iTunes instead of $9 bucks to Amazon or Barnes and Noble?

Amazon should wake up and seize the opportunity here. They own the app called Stanza, which is way more elegant and feature-loaded than the Kindle app for iPhone/iPod Touch. If Amazon were to open Kindle media up to Stanza, they'd surpass Apple's iBook thingy.

This is by FAR the worst thing about Apple. Period.
They always do this. I get that it's not their fault or their ideal solution.
I'm in the UK and we don't get the HD movie purchases in iTunes (hence I stopped buying from iTunes, now I only rent and if I want to buy I go get Blue Ray - it's cheaper too)
I think the iBook App (or iBookstore as refered to in the press release) is awesome, and I'd buy the iPad to be able to use it, but now I'm going to have to wait until they books are available in the UK. How ridiculous.
I do like the idea of the iPhone version though, that seems pretty cool.
I use the Kindle App at the moment, and it's nice, but a bit of a chore to get the eBooks on there. The iBookstore would make is 100 times easier.

Why wouldn't apple release an iPhone version of iBooks? They know people read ebooks on their iPhones, why would they just give that market to Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If they have the store and the app, it will do nothing but earn them more money if it was available on the iPhone too. But is Apple concerned about selling ebooks, or the devices to read them on? That is the question, which will determine whether this is iPad only or not.

I bet any money apple pulls the kindle app and other ebook readers from the AppStore anyway, seeing as it will "mimic built in functionality of the ipad".

In Ireland, five years after we got the iTunes Store, we still don't have television or movie sales so I would imagine that we won't be seeing an iBook app any time in the near to medium future.

@Mike, you're really upset that an iPhone-focused blog is heavily covering the latest iPhone OS powered device?

This could get old people to buy a "mac". Sell a iphone with a big screen with once touch icons right on the screen plus easy to usw features.