The changes that Apple is implementing to iBooks are similar to the things it did to iTunes and iTunes Podcasts that are now called Apple Music and Apple Podcasts, respectively.
Apple 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. Ultimately, we reported at the time, Apple was forced to pony-up a whopping $450 million fine to settle the claims.
Gurman pointed out that the "Apple Books Store" rebranding appears to be a strategy by which Apple hopes to regain its footing in the the e-books market - a category dominated by e-commerce giant, Amazon - in the wake of its previous fallout with the U.S. Department of Justice. Apple recently moved its audiobook offerings from the Music app to the iBooks app, but having a dedicated tab for audiobooks will make them more easily accessible for customers. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple will release a revamped version of the iBooks app for iOS, which will be dubbed "Books", that will have an interface more like the iOS 11 App Store, a Reading Now tab, and a separate section for audiobooks.
The period since then has seen Amazon.com Inc. cement its leadership position in the e-book market. Apple and the publishers denied any conspiracy and Apple said it was trying to find a way to compete in a market where Amazon already had monopoly control.
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The e-commerce giant had just over 83 percent of the US e-book market in early 2017, up from 74 percent in October 2015, according to AuthorEarnings, which tracks book sales for writers and other industry participants. But Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has pledged that services will generate about $50 billion in annual revenue by 2021, up from $30 billion a year ago. Zafar previously served as senior vice president of Audible, so he should certainly know his way around audiobooks.
Apple wasn't immediately available for comment.
Back in 2012, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging that the company "orchestrated a scheme" to raise the price of e-books.