iBooks Failing to Dominate the Market


Apple Inc. is not accustomed to not getting its way over the past five years. Their iPhone still dominates the smartphone market, the iPad dominates the tablet market, and iTunes dominates the pay-per-song market. But not everything Apple touches turns to gold.

Apple’s iBookstore has failed to dominate the eBook market in the same way that iTunes has dominated the online music market. At the heart of this failure has been Apple’s inability to strike a deal with Random House to provide books published by the company through iBooks. For example, iPad users who want the top two nonfiction books in the country (George W. Bush’s “Decision Points” and Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken“) must download the free Kindle or Nook app in order to access those titles.

The iBookstore is struggling in part because many publishers believe they are asking too much in their pricing schemes. Publishers are allowed to set their own prices, but Apple has set revenue sharing at a 70-30 ratio.

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