Technology

Apple is reportedly overhauling iBooks in a bid to go after Amazon

Apple is reportedly overhauling iBooks in a bid to go after Amazon

According to a new Bloomberg report, sources familiar with the matter said the iPhone maker is quietly working on a major upgrade of the app, which could play a key role in its growth plans. The new iBooks app reportedly also has a Reading Now tab, presumably to give the user quick access to the titles at the top of their reading list, and a dedicated audiobook section.

The period since then has seen Amazon.com Inc. cement its leadership position in the e-book market. It would also mark a potential comeback for Apple after the US Justice Department sued the company and publishers for working together to raise book prices and fined Apple $450 million.

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.

Along with the features previewed yesterday as part of its upcoming iOS 11.3 software update, it was discovered that Apple [curiously] dropped "i" from the moniker of its popular "iBooks" digital bookstore - ostensibly making "Books" the new e-books storefront. More references to audiobooks confirm improvements in that area for the new Books app. Apple has hired an Amazon executive to help, Bloomberg reported. Many industry participants questioned the ruling in the case, since it obviously favored Amazon.

After the legal blow, Apple's digital-services work focused more on Apple Music, App Store sales, and movie rentals.

iBooks is the latest app that Apple is redesigning as part of its goal of generating $50 billion in annual revenue by 2021. Prior to his time at Amazon he served as the content vice president for book retailer Barnes & Noble's Nook ebook reader division.

Apple wasn't immediately available for comment. This new app will have tabs where you can view the books you're now reading, along with a tab dedicated to audiobooks.