iBooks won’t come as a bundled app on the iPad, will only work in the US

Thu, Feb 11, 2010


Even though Apple will be touting the iPad as an e-reader, the snazzy looking iBooks app won’t come bundled with the iPad, according to a recent post from John Gruber. Instead, iBooks will be a free application users will be able to download from the iTunes App Store.

The description of iBooks on the iPad features page reads:

The iBooks app is a great new way to read and buy books.1 Download the free app from the App Store and buy everything from classics to best sellers from the built-in iBookstore. Once you’ve bought a book, it’s displayed on your Bookshelf. Just tap it to start reading.

That footnote, in case you’re wondering, says that iBooks will only be available for download in the US. We’re not exactly sure why, but we imagine there are probably some licensing and legal issues at play. That may explain why Apple decided not to bundle the iBooks app with the iPad – after all, Apple is all about consistency and it would be wholly un-Apple like to put an app on the iPad that consumers outside of the US wouldn’t be able to use.

Gruber highlights a tweet from one of his readers suggesting that Apple left out iBooks from the iPad because doing so will allow Apple to update the app much more often than if “it were tied to OS updates.” This may be part of Apple’s reasoning.

Or maybe not.

On the surface it makes sense, but how often do we see updates to the App Store app or the iTunes Music Store app? They’re essentially front ends to Apple’s database of content and it doesn’t seem too likely that we’ll be seeing numerous iBooks updates coming from Apple. We’d wager that the iBooks app will eventually come standard with every iPad once the app becomes accessible to customers outside of the US.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. William Says:

    how unusual for people outside the US to get screwed by Apple AGAIN. With AT&T struggling to keep pace with data demand, why can’t the rest of the world be a first for a change? Most countries will have some sort of 4G network inplace by years end, yet AT&T can’t get 3G working correctly. There is a world outside the north and south, east and west coasts of the US Apple!!

  2. Kathy S in San Antonio Says:

    Off-topic question, but I’d love to know the answer: What will happen to my digital library (books, music, movies) after I die? Are these inheritable? Can you pass them on to a specific person?

  3. Frankie Says:

    as long as ebooks will not be available in Europe i will keep my wallet closed… I am still waiting my AppleTV to deliver movies here in Italy: will not repeat same mistake again…

  4. Niall Says:

    Likewise. I will not buy an Ipad if I cannot buy books thru the Ibook app. The apple tv has been on sale here in Ireland for over two years and still no movie or tv show rentals on it…. Pointless….

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