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iBookstore readied for new iPhone, as market share reaches 22%
08.06.10 | Catherine Neilan
More than five million e-books have been downloaded via Apple's iBookstore since the iPad device launched in the US roughly 10 weeks ago, the manufacturer claims.
Speaking at the launch of the iPhone 4, Apple chief executive Steve Job said: "Five of the six biggest publishers in the US tell us that the share of iBooks is up to about 22% — in about 8 weeks! We’re really thrilled with that." Adding that in the first 65 days, users have downloaded over 5m books, equal to about 2.5 books per iPad. There are more than 60,000 books available via the iBookstore. However, the majority of the e-books are out of copyright works, made available through Project Gutenberg.
Jobs also announced that the iPhone 4 will have access to the iBooks app. This will synch between devices, meaning the user can read across the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Users can also now read and store PDFs in iBooks.
Jobs heralded the iPhone 4 as "the biggest leap since the original iPhone", highlighting features such as 'Retina display', which he claimed created "the highest resolution display ever in a phone, with text looking like it does on a fine printed page".
Jobs added: "We have been dreaming about both of these breakthroughs for decades.”
The new device will be available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 (£137) for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model. It will be rolled out simultaneously in the US, France, Germany, Japan and the UK on 24th June, and countries including Australia and Canada "by the end of July".
Apple said by the end of September it aimed to have iPhone 4 available in 88 countries altogether.
According to Apple Insider, Jobs also announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference yesterrday a new version of the iBooks software. Due out later this month, new features include enabling users to highlight text, paste sticky notes, bookmark pages, and add bookmarks to the title's table of contents.
The New York Times labelled the iBookstore numbers meaningless: "The 22 percent number means little because it does not reflect the entire publishing industry. Most small publishers, along with one of the largest in the world, Random House, do not sell books through Apple. Amazon has always been particularly strong at selling lesser known books in the so-called 'long tail' of publisher’s catalogs, many of which Apple does not yet carry."