Innocent until proven guilty? Not for Cupertino. Apple’s e-book antitrust trial starts on June 3rd, but the U.S. District Judge in charge of the case is already openly expressing her belief that Apple engaged in a conspiracy.
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With its iBooks Author software, Apple has made it incredibly easy for almost anyone to write and publish their own e-book. And it hopes to make it just as easy to create iOS apps. One patent application shows the Cupertino company has been working on a tool that would allow users without any programming knowledge at all to build their own iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch software.
It’s long been rumored that the Department of Justice would file an antitrust suit against Apple for e-book price fixing, but now it’s happening, as the United States DoJ just filed such a suit against Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin.
At issue here is Apple’s attempt to overthrow Amazon’s hegemony on e-book selling by collaborating with publishers ahead of the iBookstore launch to standardize how much is charged for e-books, not just through Apple, but through Amazon as well.
Whether you were disappointed or elated with the new products and services on Tuesday’s Rock n’ Roll event, you have to admit there was a lot of stuff going on.
One small, almost overlooked new-ish item: “Mayhem” the first standalone digital book is for sale on iTunes 9. (Fortune’s Jon Fortt ran into singer/actor Tyrese Gibson who produced it at the event, or he says he might have missed it, too.)
Although there are plenty of comic book apps and magazines on iTunes, this one is different.
Mayhem is more like a book on steroids. For the $1.99 purchase price, you get the comic book, an iTunes LP with an exclusive track, plus storyboards, a making-of video and two freebie comic books.
This is the first digital book that Apple had a hand in designing and it shows — reports say the interface is versatile enough to work as well on a touch-screen as it does on a full-size screen.
The Mayhem iTunes LP was designed by Sam Herz, one of Apple’s user interface engineers for iTunes, and Barry Munsterteiger, creative director for rich media and Internet technologies.
After the event, Steve Jobs once again stated that Apple won’t be trying to encroach on Amazon’s territory any time soon — should we believe him?