We’re only a few days away from Apple’s big event, and the rumors about WHAT is being released are swirling. According to Macrumors, some of the book publishers have started to share what little they do know…
Apparently they know very little about the physical tablet itself, except that it weighs roughly the same as a DX with smaller dimensions. Not all of the deals are complete, and Apple may not have everything worked out until mid-2010, but we’ll get the basic overview on Wednesday. And here’s the serious, damning, worst case scenario that I called last week:
-and other companies serving as middle-men to bring e-books to the iPhone are being cut out of the tablet, with Apple preferring to work directly with the publishers.
Say goodbye to the Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and Stanza apps, kids! Now, this seems to contradict the news from, that indicated the Tablet would run iPhone apps with a slant towards media, including books. However, there’s no reason they both can’t be right; it could be that this particular ban on on apps is a per-app basis, rather than Apple yanking the whole category from the app store. Still, it is very much Apple’s style to simply remove any competition to their future bookselling aspirations. We’ll find out Wednesday!
Just remember, there’s at least one author you WON’T find in Apple’s bookstore: Ian McEwan. The author of Atonement, Saturday and other critically acclaimed works has struck a deal to exclusively sell his backlist on Amazon.com’s Kindle store. He’s following in the footsteps of Stephen Covey, who struck a similar deal earlier this year, also through Rosetta Books.
If this rumor about Apple actively cutting out so-called “middle-men” apps is true, and we lose access to any non-Apple bookstores on the iPhone, then these exclusivity deals are going to seriously harm the consumer. We are heading from a platform that let us read just about every ebook from every ebook store to a platform where we only get to read books from publishers with “deals”…not the right direction for ebooks.
All this is just another reason why Wednesday can’t come soon enough!