By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2013
I’ve been following Leander Kahney for quite some time now, going all the way back to his Wired and The Guardian years. Kahney now runs the Cult of Mac Apple blog and he’s already published three books about technology and Apple’s culture: Inside Steve’s Brain, the New York Times bestseller about Steve Jobs, Cult of Mac about the creation of the Mac and Cult of iPod which chronicles how Apple’s music player came to be.
Building on the experiences in writing these books, Kahney has now taken a crack at demystifying Apple’s arguably most powerful executive after Tim Cook, the guy who put sexiness in Apple’s gadgets and flattened all your icons – 46-year-old British industrial designer Sir Jonathan Ive.
I’ve skimmed through the book and cherry-picked a few interesting anecdotes… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Oct 24, 2013
Unlike other media Apple sells, such as music and video, you’ve not been able to gift e-books – until now (perhaps). As we head into the holiday season, the iPhone maker has filed for a patent on sending to friends the e-books you’ve already purchased through the iBookstore. The patent filing would enable you to select a passage in an e-book that reminds you of someone, then gift the book, complete with a personalize message… Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 27, 2013
Apple sent out an email to authors and publishers last night, announcing that it has updated the iBookstore with a number of backend improvements including versioning support and increased pixels limits for book images.
While the changes won’t be readily noticeable to iBooks users, they will eventually lead to an enhanced shopping experience once content providers begin utilizing them in their content. We’ve got more details after the fold… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 18, 2013
With each new iOS release, Apple typically makes available the accompanying user guide through the Manuals section of its website. With the advent of iBooks and the iBookstore, the company started reformatting these manuals for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, making them available as free downloads on the iBookstore.
As we count the remaining hours until today’s iOS 7 release, we’ve just spotted the official iOS 7 manual on the iBookstore… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Aug 30, 2013
While much recent discussion regarding Apple’s guilty verdict on e-book price-fixing charges, we’re now getting the first glimpse at how consumers may benefit. Based on a proposed $162.25 million fund established by the five publishers who earlier settled, consumers could receive up to $3.06 per New York Times bestselling e-book they downloaded to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
The exact amount depends on whether your purchased e-book was listed on the NYT bestseller list, with a smaller $0.73 disbursed if your e-book did not make it on the list… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 12, 2013
Apple quietly seeded an OTA update to its Apple Store app this morning, bringing the ability to download new content for free. The Color Zen game has been replaced with the children’s book ‘Away in My Airplane’ by Margaret Wise Brown.
This is just the latest move in Apple’s effort to entice customers to download and use its Apple Store app in hopes of spurring more hardware sales. Earlier this month, it started offering a free game download within the application… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 7, 2013
The Wall Street Journal is reporting this evening that the five book publishers who settled with the US government in the e-book antitrust case have filed an objection with the court on Apple’s behalf.
In the filing, the companies argue that the Department of Justice’s settlement proposal for Apple, which it submitted last week, would violate their settlement agreements they had before the trial began… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 4, 2013
Apple has altered its iTunes Terms and Conditions to permit children under the age of 13 to operate individual iTunes accounts created at the request of an ‘approved educational institution,’ signaling the beginning of its next big push into education.
Previously, the company restricted iTunes accounts to children aged 13 or older. But with it landing major iPad distribution deals with school districts, the Mac-maker has announced that it will be changing its policy with the fall release of iOS 7… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 2, 2013
Earlier today, the Department of Justice filed new court documents, offering Apple a settlement for its e-book price fixing case. The iPad-maker was found guilty last month of conspiring with 5 major book publishers to raise e-book prices.
In the filing, the DoJ essentially asked that Apple completely restructure its e-book business model. And unsurprisingly, it filed its own brief this afternoon, calling the proposal a “draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple’s business…” Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Aug 2, 2013
The U.S. government Friday offered Apple a proposal to settle an e-book price-fixing case which the technology giant recently lost. Among the requirements: end current agency agreements with the publishers involved, allow Amazon and others to provide external links to e-books within their iOS apps and institute a five-year probation from signing any new e-book distribution deals.
The proposed “remedy” offered by the US Department of Justice, while imposing some restrictions on Apple, could bypass potential fines reportedly near $500 million… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 29, 2013
Apple will begin providing its Apple Store employees with free iBooks titles next week as part of a new ‘iBooks Discovery’ program. According to a new report, the company announced the initiative at its quarterly retail meetings, which took place over the weekend.
The move is said to be part of an effort to get retail staffers more familiar with both the iBookstore and the iBooks app ahead of the arrival of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks this fall. Apple is reportedly looking to make a heavy retail push for both operating systems… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 17, 2013
Eddy Cue once again took the stand today in Apple’s ongoing antitrust case with the Department of Justice. The company’s SVP of Internet software and services took the stand on Friday to talk about Steve Jobs’ involvement in Apple’s iBooks project. And this morning, he offered up a few more details.
Cue spoke more candidly on the witness stand today, providing several interesting tidbits about Jobs’ participation in Apple’s iBooks launch back in 2010. Apparently, the then-CEO had a big hand in the project, doing everything from designing minor UI details to choosing which book to offer for free… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jun 12, 2013
Under questioning by U.S. government lawyers, an Apple executive testified that the company owns about 20 percent of the U.S. e-book market – double the figure many observers had assumed.
The surprising percentage was revealed as the head of the company’s iBookstore service refuted government charges of conspiracy to set e-book prices.
During the sixth day of testimony in the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Apple, company director Keith Moerer said iBookstore grabbed twenty percent of e-book sales soon after opening, a figure it continues to hold. Additionally, he said iBookstore sales increased 100 percent in 2012 with more than a hundred million customers… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 10, 2013
After 3 years of being an iOS-exclusive, Apple is finally bringing its iBooks Store (and app) to the Mac via its new desktop operating system OS X Mavericks—something that [no doubt] millions of iBooks users have been clamoring for for ages.
With the new Mac portal, users will be able to access their full iBook libraries, as well as browse the Store, all from the comfort of their computers. The bigger screen should provide a number of advantages for users—particularly students and teachers… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 4, 2013
Yesterday, the Department of Justice (DoJ) publicized its antitrust case against Apple in the form of an 81-page slide deck to prove that the iPhone maker has teamed up with five major U.S. publishers to form a cartel in order to raise prices of digital books. But as Tim Cook said at the D11 conference, Apple is going to fight the “bizarre” case and has no intention to “sign something that says we did something that we didn’t do”.
And while the DoJ is arguing the facts, Apple is arguing the law and accusing the government of unfairly twisting Steve Jobs’s words pulled from Walter Isaacson’s bio book. Apple’s attorney Orin Snyder denied any conspiracy and argued that “publishers fought us tooth and nail”… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 3, 2013
As I reported earlier this morning, Apple today squared off with the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) in a Manhattan courtroom in a “bizzare” case (Tim Cook’s words, not mine) that some watchers say will set the rules for Internet commerce. Here’s what both sides emphasized in their opening statements, including an upcoming testimony by Apple’s Internet services lead Eddy Cue… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 3, 2013
As you know, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) in April 2010 filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple over allegations that it conspired with five major publishers to raise prices of e-books sold on the iBookstore in order to break Amazon’s monopoly. Now, DoJ previously called Apple a facilitator and said email messages from Steve Jobs prove its guilt. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote believes the government will prevail and Reuters reports this morning that Apple is scheduled to square off with the government in a Manhattan courtroom later today.
Apple, of course, maintains its innocence. So, why all the fuss? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 15, 2013
As you know, publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster all settled with the US Justice Department (DoJ) in an antitrust lawsuit the government filed against them and Apple in April 2012. In turn, DoJ is focusing on Apple now and, according to a new report, is calling Apple out for being a facilitator of an alleged price fixing related to electronic books sold on its iBookstore.
Furthermore, DoJ claimed it collected evidence that proves Apple was the “ringmaster” in the price fixing conspiracy… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 19, 2013
Online retailer Amazon in an interesting personal assistant move has reportedly acquired Evi (pronounced ee-vee), a Cambridge, England headquartered startup that specialises in knowledge base and semantic search engine software. The company makes an iOS and Android app which uses the True Knowledge Answer engine and Nuance speech recognition platform to deliver answers to complex queries using natural language processing.
Apple’s Siri also uses Nuance for voice recognition and the iPhone maker even threatened to kick Evi out of the App Store for being too similar to Siri, but later changed its mind. Amazon previously in January 2013 bought Ivona Software, a Polish-based specialist in voice technologies that competes with Nuance.
Combining Ivona and Evi could yield some interesting results, giving Apple’s Siri a run for its money, even more so knowing Amazon makes tablets and is rumored to be building a smartphone… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Apr 4, 2013
Apple has again moved to prevent anger from China. The Cupertino firm has pulled one bookstore app from the China iTunes store which hosted several titles by authors critical of the government.
Among the ten titles affected by the bookstore app’s removal were three by a banned Chinese author and political activist. The books focus on the long-running dispute over China’s occupation of Tibet, as well as the author’s detention by the country’s state security.
The action follows an apology by Apple CEO Tim Cook, after criticism over the iPhone maker’s warranty policy for smartphones sold in the country… Read More