In a perfect world, well Apple’s version of a perfect world, there would be no iPads outside of the US at the moment. But there are! In a few of the countries that the iPad will officially be launched the iBookstore app is starting to show up some locally available content. So we can see Apple starting to breath life into its services a little ahead of their official launch.
The content is limited at the moment. And most offerings seem to be coming from the free Project Gutenberg titles. Hopefully we’ll see more in coming weeks. As well as the iBookstore app on iPhones and iPods when iPhone OS 4.0 drops.
One of the reasons for this limited amount of content is because of different regulations for book copyright in some territories, as well as ongoing negotiations by Apple to sign publishers up. In the UK, for example, competition law regulates that publishers must be in control of book pricing. This presents problems for Apple’s iBookstore agency style model.
“The legality of the model in the UK is yet to be established,” reports The Bookseller. “Industry sources have warned for several weeks that the agency model used to sell e-books through the iBookStore could face legal hurdles.”
But it does seem that Apple are committed to making this work in other places than the US alone. And that will be a good thing for books, just as it was a good thing for music with iTunes.
Are you looking forward to digital book distribution on the iPad in Europe and elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…