Book service in doubt for UK iPad

Electronic book fans could face disappointment when Apple’s iPad launches in the UK, with confusion reigning over whether the tablet will include the iBooks ebook reader and its integrated iBookstore.

Book service in doubt for UK iPad

The company’s UK website makes no mention of the iBooks service and Apple has refused to confirm when the potentially popular application will be available in the UK.

To add to the uncertainty, a footnote on the company’s Australian website states: “iBooks available in the US only.”

However, a spokesperson for Apple told PC Pro that “iBooks will be available in the UK, but the timing of that will not be announced until the iPad goes on sale”.

The iPad is scheduled to go on sale in the UK and the US at the end of March, but experts believe complicated licensing negotiations could rule out an early inclusion of iBooks outside the US.

“To package a book price to the consumer which includes a margin for the connectivity provider and the publisher and Apple takes some doing,” said Kate Adamson, director of Stark Moore Macmillan, a marketing company that specialises in ebooks.

“It also raises the question of whether [Apple boss Steve] Jobs has decided to go with an open content model, or follow Amazon and lock content to the iPad.”

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