Apple seems to be ready to take on Amazon.com in the digital book market again, with a redesigned version of its iBooks e-book reading application for iPhones and iPads.
Accoridng to Bloomberg, the new app, due to be released in coming months, will include a simpler interface that better highlights books currently being read and a redesigned digital book store that looks more like the new App Store launched last year. The revamped app in testing includes a new section called Reading Now and a dedicated tab for audio books, the report added.
Apple yesterday released an early version of its iOS 11.3 mobile operating system update to developers on Wednesday, providing a hint that the new e-books app is on the way. The app is now simply called "Books," rather than "iBooks," according to the update.
Selling digital books was once a key part of Apple's services business. But the U.S. Department of Justice sued Apple and publishers in 2012, alleging they orchestrated a scheme to raise the price of e-books. That resulted in a $450 million fine for Apple in 2016. After the legal blow, Apple's digital-services work focused more on Apple Music, App Store sales, and movie rentals.
Amazon has gained market share in U.S. ebook sales since 2015.
While Apple sells e-books to make its high-priced devices more attractive, making money on the sale of the hardware, Amazon churns out new versions of affordable Kindle devices and tries to make money selling content.