When iOS 8 came out last year one of the many enhancements and changes included making iBooks becoming preloaded on all existing and new Apple devices. In the past, it was a recommended download from the App Store, and was able to be uninstalled. Now, it is impossible to uninstall the e-Book service and it seems to be paying off big, Apple has claimed over one million new users are signing up with iBooks every single week.
Apple Director of iBooks Keith Moerer, who spoke today at the Digital Book World Conference said that the increase in new user signups is not exclusively due to the larger screen iPad and iPad Mini. iBooks consumption on phones is also on the rise since the launch of the larger-screened iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. “We are seeing more of our book sales starting to come from the phone,” he told the audience at the conference. Moerer also highlighted the company’s commitment to establishing relationships with creative professionals, including authors, and noted that indie publishing is one of iBooks’ “biggest growth areas.” Foreign publishing is also expanding, with Spanish-language publishing becoming a larger part of Apple’s business in the United States and Japan seeing a lot of growth.
Moerer also boasted that Apple charges the same split, taking a 30 percent cut of all sales, whether a book is published by a major company, or if it is self-published by a smaller author. He said this helps Apple to support the creative professionals who frequently use its hardware and software.
“We view what we do as an expansion of our support of print professionals on the hardware and software side and the way we run our other media business,” he said.
Many users are disappointed with the bundling of iBooks on their devices and have been known to refer to the platform as 1st party bloatware. Others see no point of doing business with Apple, because other than their Mac-based iBooks app, there is no way to read purchased content on other smartphones. If you decide to purchase an Android, Blackberry or Windows phone, you are simply out of luck with reading anything you buy on iBooks. Most other retails like Amazon or Kobo have apps for every operating system in the world and make their own hardware. This is normally why these two companies see more revenue generated by e-Books than Apple.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.