Confirmed: no iPad iBooks for Blighty
Bad news for e-book buffs
Apple UK's iPad web pages are now online and they confirm fears that the tablet's iBooks application and associated content store will not be available to British buyers at launch.
Originally, there was no indication that iBooks might not be available outside the States, but as local websites have come on-stream, Apple has also added a tiny "iBooks available in the US only" footnote.
It's disappointing, but perhaps no great surprise. Like music and movies, books are subject to different rights regimes in different parts of the world, and while some of the publishing deals Apple has struck in the States may apply elsewhere, many won't.
Apple will surely want to strike similar deals overseas, and may have already begun this process. What's worrying is that rather than acknowledge iBooks and state that the service may not be available immediately on launch, Apple is hiding it away. The implication: it may be some time before either application or store debut over here.
Worse, it clearly suggests iBooks is for material acquired through Apple and not e-books you may already possess. ®
Re: you can fold a page over when you want to "bookmark" it
There is a special corner of hell reserved for people like you.
Folding a page over indeed.
Why be so surprised?
Apart from the bucketload of fail Apple have already dished out in the last 24 hours, having no iPad iBooks in the UK is actually a blessing.
Did you see St. Steve's demo of this? $12.99 per book sale from his nickel and dime bookstore? That will easily equate to £12.00 here in Blighty. You can go to Amazon and pick up the same book in old-fashioned paper format (otherwise known as "The iPulp" a few centuries ago) for half the price.
OK, you don't have it always on demand via your back-lit jesus-pad, but you never have to worry about running out of juice to use it, you get less eye-strain, you can fold a page over when you want to "bookmark" it, you save a shed-load of money compared to the shiny digital version, you can sniff it, you can loan it out to someone, you can resell it if you need the beans, you look less of a tit reading it.
The benefits are almost infinite. Thank you Apple for sparing the old world from this. Now, if you could run along and get back to concentrating on brilliant operating systems and put the "we're a mobile company" aside, you'll make a lot of your old admirers so much happier.
Re: Re: you can fold a page over when you want to "bookmark" it
Hear, hear. Second only to people who can't read paperbacks without splitting the spine.
On the iBook demo, there were free books available, including Dickens and other out of copyright texts. If nothing else, regardless of any publishing deals, I would have thought that iBook could start off with the full Gutenberg collection in the UK...
Paper is still useful
As someone who has done a lot of research it can indeed be easier to use paper stuff. Let's say I'm doing some historical research. I probably won't be carrying a lot of books, I'm going to be heading for a big library or a major archive. Here I'll grab a big table and get the books, papers, etc that I require. I can have them all open at the same time, track events, compare/contrast,etc. This is sort of hard to do on any form of reader. Oh, I'll also be at it for days or weeks at a time, so I really don't need the eyestrain a backlit screen is going to cause. I'll probably make my notes using a writing stick on more dead trees as well.
Then I'll write it all up one of the new fangled Babbage engines and publish on more dead trees and the web.