Well, here it is – the potential “Kindle Killer”, the Apple iPad. (I know that the Catapult isn’t a breaking news source, but all the specs etc, if you’re interested, can be found on the Apple site linked above.) So far it seems sort of like a giant iPhone with ebook reading capabilities – which is fine, really. Color screen, sleek design, a new Apple iBooks store, and a bookseller-friendly EPUB open source ebook format…has the death knell begun for Bezos and his lockdown on the ebook market? I have no idea, of course, but it’s good to see a company like Apple enter the fray, especially with such a swanky looking alternative to the stale Kindle. Not to mention that 5 of the major publishers are already on board with the iBooks idea, since the too-low Amazon price point has the potential to kill everyone in its path. Ebooks through iBooks will have a slightly higher price tag, set by the pubs, rather than Apple. David Young, CEO of Hachette, told NPR that he felt there was “no future, as I saw it, at $9.99, other than ruin” – and I would have to agree with him. Now if we can just convince Mr. Young and his fellow CEOs to allow independent bookstores to purchase and sell their ebooks at a more reasonable rate than the current hardcover-type prices, we’ll all be happy.
With all the hyped-up media coverage on this, the following was the best piece of reporting I found, from The Onion Science & Technology desk:
Frantic Steve Jobs Stays Up All Night Designing Apple Tablet
CUPERTINO, CA — Claiming that he completely forgot about the much-hyped electronic device until the last minute, a frantic Steve Jobs reportedly stayed up all night Tuesday in a desperate effort to design Apple’s new tablet computer. “Come on, Steve, just think—think, dammit—you’re running out of time,” the exhausted CEO said as he glued nine separate iPhones to the back of a plastic cafeteria tray. “Okay, yeah, this will work. This will definitely work. Just need to write ‘tablet’ on this little strip of masking tape here and I’m golden. Oh, come on, you piece of shit! Just stick already!” Middle-of-the-night sources reported that Jobs then began work on double-spacing his Keynote presentation and increasing the font size to make it appear longer.