In a filing with the United States district court for southern New York, Apple claims the Department of Justice has its story all wrong. The Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against Apple and multiple book publishers earlier this week alleging that the group colluded to fix the prices of electronic books. In a recently released document filed with the court on Wednesday, Apple’s counsel addressed the charges by claiming the DOJ has its story backwards — Apple wasn’t working with publishers to fix eBook prices, it was breaking Amazon’s “monopolistic grip” on the eBook market and the publishing industry. Read on for more. More →
Three separate lawsuits have been filed in China on behalf of 12 writers who claim Apple is selling unlicensed versions of their works in its iBookstore. Apple is accused of selling 59 unlicensed works in total, and the three suits seek a combined $3.5 million in damages. Apple has not denied the allegations, though the company did say that it responds to intellectual property complaints quickly. “As an IP holder ourselves, we understand the importance of protecting intellectual property and when we receive complaints we respond promptly and appropriately,” Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu told the Associated Press. Wang Guohua, a lawyer representing the group of writers, said Apple violated copyright laws by making the books available for purchase without securing the necessary licenses. Wang also said that while some titles were removed after lawsuits were filed in January, many have been uploaded to Apple’s digital store again and Apple has not taken the appropriate measures to prevent the pirated books from being sold. “Some developers, with whom Apple has contracts, put them back online again,” he said. “It is encouragement in disguise, because they did not punish the developers. The developers could have been kicked out. But nothing happened to them.” More →
In a special January event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, Apple’s VP of marketing Phil Schiller announced that the Cupertino-based company was looking to change the textbook industry with iBooks 2 and iBooks Author. McGraw Hill Education believes that the new iPad, which was announced on March 7th, will truly revolutionize education. According to Vineet Madan, McGraw Hill’s vice president of new ventures, the discounted iPad 2 will now allow more schools to deploy iPads to their students for education. “I’ve long thought that the tipping-point price for a tablet is between $200 and $300,” Madan said in an interview with TPM. “Now that the entry-level iPad 2 has dropped by $100, and it’s now $399 for a 16 gigabyte version, we’ll see much more uptake. The iPad 2 still a phenomenally powerful device [and] our content performs incredibly well on that device. At the same time, we can build better things for new iPad.” Read on for more. More →
Kobo, purveyor of eReaders and eBook software across a variety of platforms, announced on Tuesday that it will be acquired by Japan-based Rakuten. Rakuten will purchase 100% of outstanding shares of of Kobo for $315 million in cash. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Kobo was spun off of Canadian retailer Indigo in late 2009, and the company has struggled to compete against the likes of Amazon and Barnes & Noble in the eBook space. “We are very excited about this next step,” said Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani in a statement. “Kobo provides one of the world’s most communal eBook reading experiences with its innovative integration of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter; while Rakuten offers Kobo unparalleled opportunities to extend its reach through some of the world’s largest regional e-commerce companies, including Buy.com in the US, Tradoria in Germany, Rakuten Brazil, Rakuten Taiwan, Lekutian in China, TARAD in Thailand, and Rakuten Belanja Online in Indonesia, and of course, Rakuten Ichiba in Japan.” Kobo’s full press release follows below. More →
We’re live from Barnes & Noble’s press conference here in New York City where the bookseller is expected to take the wraps off its sequel to the Nook Color tablet. Though the firm used a heavily customized, unrecognizable version of Google’s Android platform to power the original Nook Color, it is still one of the most popular Android tablets in the short history of the media tablet category. Barnes & Noble has reportedly shipped more than 3 million Nook Color slates to date, and with Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire ready to heat things up beginning next week, we’re hoping B&N has a few surprises up its sleeve this morning to keep the space competitive. Hit the break for our live coverage and don’t forget to refresh the page often, or enable auto-refresh, for all the latest news as it breaks. More →
Barnes & Noble is holding a press conference on Monday morning where the company is expected to unveil a new color eBook reader that will go head-to-head with Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire tablet. According to a recent report, the slate in question will be Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color 2 and it will feature a 7-inch 1024 x 600-pixel display, 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and a dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4 processor. Rumors also suggest the tablet will be priced at $249, $50 more than the hotly anticipated Amazon Kindle Fire, but nothing is confirmed until Barnes & Noble executives take the stage on Monday morning.
Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins tomorrow morning, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of Barnes & Noble’s press conference! Coverage will begin just before 10:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. PST.
As Amazon prepares to launch its first tablet offering this fall, the tech press seems to be in agreement that the device will give owners deeply integrated access to the company’s suite of digital services. It will download books from Amazon’s Kindle book store, stream music from the company’s Cloud Player service, pull down movies from Amazon Instant Video, and provide a window into Amazon’s numerous additional services. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is also working on a new service its tablet offering might take advantage of down the road: Netflix for books. Read on for more. More →
Kobo on Monday took the wraps off its latest eBook reader, which touts one feature in particular that should be of interest to future eReader buyers: touch. The unveiling comes just one day ahead of Barnes & Nobles’s press event in New York City — which we’ll be covering live — where the company is expected to introduce its new black and white NOOK. The Kobo eReader Touch Edition, also a black and white reader, features a 6-inch “Real Touch” E Ink touchscreen display with 16 shades of grey, Wi-Fi connectivity and a library of over 2.3 million books, newspapers and magazines, including over a million free titles. Kobo’s new eReader can store up to 1,000 books locally and another 30,000 on a removable SD card, and it weighs in at a feather-light 200 grams. The Kobo eReader Touch Edition is available for pre-order immediately from Best Buy, Walmart, Borders and Indigo for $129.99, and it will begin shipping in July. Kobo’s previous-generation reader has dropped to $99.99 as of Monday. Hit the break for Kobo’s full press release and a video. More →
Titles from major book publisher Random House will now appear in Apple’s iBooks store. The news was one of many talking points covered earlier today at Apple’s media event. Random House had previously been the only major publisher not represented in Apple’s popular iOS book store, as it was not willing to grant Apple the 30% cut taken on titles sold through iBooks. The addition of Random House is a major coup for Apple as it looks to compete with the likes of Amazon’s Kindle bookstore and other popular offerings. Hit the break for Apple’s full press release. More →
It took quite a while, but Amazon’s Kindle application is finally available for the Windows Phone 7 platform as of Tuesday evening. The app offers exactly what you think it might — the ability to purchase and read over 750,000 eBooks in Amazon’s library, free access to preview the first chapter of each, Amazon’s Whispersync service to keep data in sync across devices, personalized recommendations and more. As is expected, the app is a smooth operator on Windows Phone 7 devices, and the design works very well with Microsoft’s Metro UI. The Kindle app for Windows Phone 7 is free, of course, and can be installed from the read link below. More →
The Amazon Kindle’s position as one of the top electronics gifts of the 2010 holiday season is reaffirmed today as Amazon notes that the Wi-Fi-only version of its popular eBook reader is currently sold out. New orders will not be delivered until after Christmas, and Amazon suggests interested parties purchase the more expensive Kindle 3G instead, if delivery by Christmas is desired.
Due to overwhelming customer demand, Kindle (Wi-Fi) is temporarily out of stock. Orders placed today will arrive after December 24th. Order now to reserve your place in line. Our Kindle 3G for $189 is still available in time for Christmas.
Amazon’s Kindle Wi-Fi is very affordable at $139, and it currently sits at No. 2 on Amazon’s list of best-selling products. The Kindle 3G — which, at $189, costs $50 more than the Wi-Fi-only version — is No. 1 on the list.
Thanks, Mike More →
Apple updated its popular eBook reader application for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on Wednesday. iBooks 1.2 adds a variety of new functionality, including the addition of fully illustrated books, the ability to organize books into collections and AirPrint support. Apple’s full change log is as follows:
- Experience fully illustrated books, from children’s picture books to beautifully designed art books, available for download in the iBookstore.
- Organize your books and PDFs into personal Collections. Swipe left or right to jump between Collections.
- Print PDF documents and notes you’ve written in iBooks using AirPrint.
- iBooks now fits more words per page by automatically hyphenating text, available only on iOS 4.2 or later.
The updated iBooks app is available immediately, and current iBooks users will be notified of the update the next time they open the App Store. More →
Following a report on Tuesday questioning the ethics surrounding free public-domain eBooks that were reformatted and made available for sale in Amazon’s Kindle store, BGR has learned that a similar scenario exists in Barnes & Noble’s NOOKbook store. In a thread entitled Scammers and Bottom Feeders: NOOKBooks Open for Business on Barnes & Noble’s public forums, users share a variety of complaints surrounding public-domain eBooks that are available for sale in the NOOKbook store. Beyond the ethical questions surrounding this practice, some users also raise concerns surrounding the inevitable clutter that results when “bottom feeders” post multiple copies of the same book for sale. One forum member lists 10 separate copies of the Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities for sale that have been uploaded to the NOOKbook store by various third-parties. The famous Dickens novel is a public-domain work that is available for free through numerous outlets.
Whether or not Amazon and Barnes & Noble plan to put measures in place to prevent the sale of free public-domain eBooks remains to be seen — though it is important to note again that while this practice is certainly unethical, it is not illegal.
Thanks, Bic More →