Sci-tech

Apple working on revamped Books app

Apple working on revamped Books app”

Assets and strings found in the new Books app on iOS 11.3 confirm the report.

The online retailer won a big competitive advantage several years ago when the U.S. Department of Justice sued Apple and several publishers for colluding to artificially raise the price of books.

The period since then has seen Amazon.com Inc. cement its leadership position in the e-book market. So the company could be removing audio books from the iTunes Store.

The renewed effort in iBooks seems to be an attempt to regain market share in e-book services. Apple was fined $450 million in 2016 in light of the 2012 case. Amazon is the undisputed king of ebook sales with over 80% of the market. The new iBooks app reportedly also has a Reading Now tab, presumably to give the user quick access to the titles at the top of their reading list, and a dedicated audiobook section.

The e-commerce giant had just over 83 percent of the US e-book market in early 2017, up from 74 percent in October 2015, according to AuthorEarnings, which tracks book sales for writers and other industry participants. The company also hired away Kashif Zafar, Amazon's senior vice president for Audible, to spearhead the plan.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Before that, Zafar worked for 5 years for Barnes & Noble's Nook e-book unit.

Of course, though they both sell e-books, Apple and Amazon's businesses are built on two fundamentally and economically different models.

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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