iBooks, one of the best-known applications for the Apple’s new iPad, won’t ship with the tablet device, according to a Thursday report. Viewed as the ebook equivalent of iTunes, iBooks must be downloaded separately.
“Apple didn’t emphasize this heavily at the introduction, but the iBooks app is not going to be bundled with the iPad — it’s an app you download from the App Store, putting it on an (at least somewhat) equal footing to e-book readers from other companies,” writes Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber.
Why not pre-install the application, like Stocks, Weather, etc? The thinking is by offering iBooks as a separate app, it will be easier to update. Otherwise, it would require an update of the entire iPhone OS.
There could be a negative side-effect to such a difference for Apple, though. If iPad users go searching for an ebook-reader and they are unaware Apple is connected to iBooks, consumers might download Amazon’s Kindle app, thus unintentionally boosting the Seattle-based online book-seller’s ebook market share.