The ongoing iBooks antitrust case between Apple and the United States Department of Justice took a very interesting twist this morning when the DoJ and 33 state Attorneys General laid out plans to remedy Apple’s wrongdoings and restore competition to the market.
The DoJ wants Apple to terminate all of its deals with book publishers, and refrain from entering into any new ones for at least five years. It also wants the company to start selling e-books from rivals like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The TED organization, which sponsors a range of conferences and talks on cutting edge topics recently launched an ebook series known as TED Books. Like the non-profit’s other initiatives, TED Books are “designed to spread great ideas.” Sticking to that ideal, the organization is making the ebooks, which will be released every two weeks, available across a range of ebook platforms including the new TED Books app for iOS devices.
The move highlights one of the challenges about ebooks – the choice of merchant and platform. That’s a particular concern when it comes to Apple’s iBookstore because purchases can only be read on an iOS device.
Hearst, the publishing conglomerate that includes several of the world’s largest magazine brands, sees a bright future of iPad and tablet editions. Duncan Edwards, CEO of Hearst Magazines International, delivered some surprising statements as to what that future will look like at this week’s World e-Reading Congress in London.
The most surprising statement was that Hearst doesn’t plan to include interactive content in its digital publications despite work done in the company’s little known App Lab and the belief that users will pay more for a digital edition. Edwards also described mix of devices used by Hearst digital subscribers. That mix is headed up by the iPad but with Barnes & Noble’s Nook platform right behind it.
Barnes & Noble’s announcement that it was spinning off its Nook business and that Microsoft would be a significant stakeholder in the new company raised a lot of eyebrows. The partnership seemed unnecessary in order to meet the goals of settling a patent dispute and ensuring a Nook app for Windows 8 tablets.
It turns out that Barnes & Nobel will be shifting its textbook business to the new company along with the Nook and that Microsoft’s $300 million investment will likely be centered around creating an e-textbook initiative that will likely compete head-on with Apple’s fledging iPad-based e-textbook business.
While Apple saw strong sales for all its iOS devices during its post-holiday quarter, Android tablet sales slumped, giving up any gains that Android had seen as a tablet platform during the holiday shopping season.
According to IDC, overall tablet shipments were down more than the analyst firm had expected. The decline to 17.4 million units represented a 38.4% drop off from the holiday quarter shipments of 28.2 million units – a notably steeper decline than IDC’s predicted 34% decline.
While overall tablet shipments were down, Android tablets slumped significantly more than Apple’s iPad, which gained an additional 13.3% of the tablet market.
Yesterday, in a somewhat surprising announcement, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble agreed to a deal that resolved their ongoing patent dispute, spun off the bookstore’s Nook business as a subsidiary into which Microsoft invested $300 million, and ensured that a Nook app will be available for Windows 8 when it launches later this year.
Although rumors have been floating around for months that Barnes & Noble was planning to spin of the Nook as a separate company or subsidiary, Microsoft’s involvement came as a surprise – one that raises interesting questions about what the two companies have in mind for their new joint business.
Microsoft has teamed up with Barnes & Noble with a $300 million investment that will create a new subsidiary focused on accelerating “the transition to e-reading.” Microsoft will take a 17.6% equity stake in a subsidiary, which is yet to be named, while Barnes & Noble will own the remaining 82.4%.
The move will provide Microsoft with its own answer to iBooks, with plans for a NOOK application that will run on Windows 8, and it’ll give users an alternative to the Kindle Store.
Just a few days after rumors started springing up that Apple intended on buying streaming video service (and Netflix competitor) Hulu comes an even odder rumors, courtesy of BGR: Apple is in talks to buy Barnes & Noble out from under them. What?
It’s no iPad, that’s for sure, but Barnes & Noble has just taken a big new step towards making e-readers even more accessible to the populace at large: they’ve added a touchscreen to their latest Nook,