Tag Archives: Apple

Apple, Other Publishers Face E-Book Pricing Lawsuit

As the popularity and success of the e-book industry continues to grow, so do the prices of the books, according to a number of readers and more importantly, the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to this article by The Huffington Post, Apple and a number of other top publishers are facing a possible lawsuit regarding collusion, for allegedly raising e-book prices. In addition to Apple, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group and Macmillan also faces possible charges.

U.S. and European officials allege Apple and the others raised prices as a means to block rivals like Amazon from being able to offer cheaper books. The “agency model” that was in adopted in 2010 gives publishers the right to set their own e-book prices, giving Apple 30% of the cut. This model eliminated the “wholesale model,” which gave retailers the ability to set their own e-book prices.

And in addition to the new possible Apple is already under fire, dealing with a class-action lawsuit filed by consumers with similar allegations.

I personally haven’t noticed raised e-book prices, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some illegal collusion was going on behind the scenes. What do you guys think? Have you notices a price increase for e-books?

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Amazon’s Next Big Thing: A Store?

Amazon is likely the largest and most successful retailer that doesn’t exist in a physical sense…until now…maybe.

According to this article by the Huffington Post, Amazon is planning to open its first store. The store would be located in its city of origin — Seattle, Washington — and could open in the next few months.

There have been rumors about Amazon opening a store for years, but now the popular book-selling and Kindle-creating web site could really use the help. As the article mentions, Amazon is facing fierce competition from Barnes and Noble, with its Nook and its decision not to sell Amazon-published book in any of its stores. Not to mention, not having an Amazon “brick and mortar” store makes it difficult to repair Kindles — unlike, say, the Apple Store, with its ability to easily repair iPads.

No specific design plan has been announced yet. But with the popularity of the site, I could see the store opening and quickly becoming a nationwide phenomenon that will likely spread at a rapid rate.

What do you think?

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Apple Reinvents Textbooks

Ah, behold the power of textbooks — educational and valuable? Yes. But they’re also pricey, heavy, and often not used to their full potential. Students tend to avoid opening them at all costs, and even teachers only use certain sections from them. But Apple is reinventing the wonderful world of textbooks — or hoping to.

Last week, the techie company rolled out a new app called iBooks 2, which would allow students to download textbooks onto an iPad for only $15 each. That’s a price students are more willing to pay if it also means having more portable, interactive books.

According to this article by Huffington Post, Apple says the iBooks 2 app — the next step up from its iBooks app, which only offers non-textbook-books — will allow publishers to incorporate 3D models, images, and videos into the books. Students will also be able to look up words, highlight text, and search through the book.

The app is available for free download on the iTunes store. So far, Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin have partnered with Apple.

The article only references high school textbooks for the iBooks 2 app. But Apple also announced an iPad and iPhone app for iTunes U that would allow teachers to create syllabi, upload videos from class lectures, and publish class notes.

Overall, this seems like an awesome plan. Yes, the kids will need an iPad to use the program, but many high schools have them now, and if not, the money kids will save from textbooks can now be put toward an iPad! I love the idea of interactive textbooks. It’s a modernized way of making learning fun, and I think that’s something any teacher, student, or parent can appreciate.

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Interview with Steve Jobs’ Biographer & His New Book

In case you missed it last night, here is the 60 Minutes interview with Steve Jobs’ biographer, Walter Isaacson.

(Note: CBS does not have an embed code for their show. This link takes you to Youtube, where you can find the follow-up links to the rest of the interview. Plus….)

Isaacson’s book about Steve Jobs is on shelves today. Get Steve Jobs in hardcover for less than $20.

 

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The Line Between Print Books and E-Books Just Got Cloudy

As e-books continue to become more accessible and convenient, the Amazon Kindle reveals its latest development: the Kindle Cloud Reader.

Much like Apple’s iCloud — which weaves together your Apple products in a way that you can access your apps from whichever platform you choose — the Kindle Cloud Reader will allow readers to access their downloaded books on multiple platforms.

According to the L.A. Times, it will work with Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari. So whatever book you’ve downloaded onto your Kindle may be accessed via desktop or iPad.

That being said, the Kindle Cloud Reader solidifies a friendship between Amazon’s Kindle and Apple. With the app, those who own Kindles and  use Apple products will be able to directly access the Kindle store, instead of the current in-app purchase option, which is subject to additional Apple fees.

To be honest, it sounds a little confusing to me. But the idea of accessing already downloaded Kindle books online or through other platforms is intriguing. What do you guys think?

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iSteve: The Bio Has Been Moved Up!

There’s more news on the way from Steve Jobs. No, it’s not a newer version of the iPad, iPod, or iPhone, but rather a history of iSteve.

The uber-rich, turtleneck-loving Apple CEO’s biography will now be released November 21st, according to the L.A. Times. The book, written by Aspen Institute president Walter Isaacson, was initially set to come out March 6th.

With the release still 3 months away, the bio has already undergone a number of changes. First: its title — originally iSteve: The Book of Jobs — is now Steve Jobs: A Biography. And the cover has also changed from this (somewhat clever, but unrecognizable) mock-up to the one included in this blog post.

There’s no question that Jobs’ bio will do well, like all of his other products. In fact, it’s already an Amazon bestseller thanks to pre-orders.

But what’s most interesting is what will be included in the biography. According to this L.A. Times article, it’s more than just his rise to the head of an internationally-renowned technology company.

A quote from Jobs in the [Barnes and Noble] description seems to hint at what the Apple CEO has to say in the book.

“I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was 23 and the way I handled that,” Jobs said, according to the description. “But I don’t have any skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out.”

The Barnes & Noble listing said that Jobs was, at times, brutally honest “about the people he worked with and competed against,” and his friends and foes were the same.

Sounds like Steve Jobs had a juicier life than we all thought! He’s man who’s created so much and shared so little…until now.

So, are you going to read it?

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Who’s Ready for More Potter?

Oh Harry Potter, how we love you.

After 7 books and (almost) 8 movies, we still want more. And though J.K. Rowling has repeatedly said she won’t be writing anymore Harry Potter books, we’re still getting more Potter, thanks to Pottermore.

Rowling officially announced a new web site Thursday — Pottermore — which would not only allow people to purchase Harry Potter e-books, but also let readers into the mind of Rowling herself. Pottermore will offer never-before-read text about the characters and stories in the books. It will also feature games, wand fights, and what appears to be some sort of virtual map.

Needless to say, it sounds awesome. It debuts July 31st –Harry’s birthday, of course– but only for a select few. Those who want early access must register now and compete for it. For the rest of the universe, the site will go public in October.

Pottermore will be the only place for people to purchase e-book versions of the successful series. (Though they will be compatible with Amazon’s Kindle, Sony’s Reader, and Apple’s iPad.) Understandably, bookstores and other e-book retailers (ie Amazon) are upset to not have been included in what will surely be one helluva money-maker for Rowling. But retailers hope, and I agree, that it will probably once again boost paper copies of the series.

The true beauty of the Harry Potter series is that it sparked an interest in reading for children and adults. Who’s to say that it can’t continue to do that 14 years later?

For ALL the information about Pottermore, click here.

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