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Confirmed: no iPad iBooks for Blighty

Bad news for e-book buffs

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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.

The UK page www.apple.com/uk/ipad/features/ matches its US equivalent, www.apple.com/ipad/features/, in all respects but one: it lacks the US' iBooks entry.

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. ®

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