Amazon has built part of its empire on the eBook market and now Apple wants in on the action. Apple’s iBook app has been around for awhile but it’s not been a major priority for the company, until now. The iBook app is undergoing a redesign and renaming in an effort to pull Apple users away from Amazon. The new app will be renamed “Books.” Apple is pouring in a lot of effort into the project much as they did with Apple Music and Podcasts.
The news about the upcoming transformation of iBooks for iPhones and iPads comes after Apple named a new executive to lead its revived effort in the ebook market. Last month, the iPhone X maker hired Kashif Zafar, who previously served as a senior vice president for Amazon’s Audible audiobooks business. Zafar also used to work as a content vice president at Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader division.
Apple used to challenge Amazon in the digital book market, but it was forced to back down after the U.S. Department of Justice sued the Cupertino giant for allegedly orchestrating a scheme to increase the prices of eBooks. Apple was fined $450 million in 2016 in light of the 2012 case. Many industry participants questioned the ruling in the case since it obviously favored Amazon. From IBT
Improving and bolstering the “Books” app isn’t like building a two-sided marketplace but it’s going to be a challenge. Given that Amazon has a pretty sturdy foothold in the eBook market and many have already invested in it. And when we say a sturdy foothold, that amounts to 83% of the market compared to Apple’s small portion of 9%. It will be interesting to see if Apple users defect to “Books” and away from Kindle. Only time will tell but time has also proven that most users don’t want to lose what they’ve invested in.