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Apple Might Be Working On Major iBooks Redesign

Apple Might Be Working On Major iBooks Redesign

Selling e-books used to be a key part of Apple's services business but after the company and several publishers were sued by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012 for allegedly developing a scheme to raise the price of e-books, Apple got hit with a fine and retreated. The revamped app in testing includes a new section called Reading Now and a dedicated tab for audio books, the people said.

According to the tipsters, the iPhone maker is working to give the app a "simpler look" that will include a book catalog similar in appearance to the recently redesigned App Store.

In the wake of the lawsuit, Apple essentially put its iBooks and iBookstore services on the back burner, Gurman notes, while shifting its focus to building out other digital services including Apple Music and its more recent Apple Podcasts platform. Clearly Apple doesn't want to miss the chance to capitalize on the e-book and audiobook market, which has become increasingly popular but is also now dominated by Amazon.

Bloomberg reported Thursday that Apple is in the process of reviving its ebook reading application iBooks by simplifying its UI and redesigning its digital book store.

Wednesday released a beta version of iOS 11.3 to developers with a rebranded version of the iBooks reading app named "Books", but the simple name masks bigger things to come.

Other developments including its December, 2017 hiring of Kashif Zafar - a former senior vice president of Amazon's audiobooks business, Audible - lend even further credence to Apple's bold new e-book ambitions. Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook past year set a goal of doubling revenues from mobile services by 2020. Prior to his time at Amazon he served as the content vice president for book retailer Barnes & Noble's Nook ebook reader division. Many industry participants questioned the ruling in the case, since it obviously favored Amazon.

Apple wasn't immediately available for comment.

Earlier today, a report by Bloomberg mentioned that Apple is working on big changes for the Books app (previously called iBooks) and the Apple Books Store.

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