28 January 2010

So Apple FINALLY released it!

Yes folks, Apple has FINALLY launched their tablet device. And what a launch. Did anyone NOT hear about it I ask you? Talk about hype! And when the moment arrived, the device wasn't called the iTablet or iSlate as rumoured. Instead they opted for the iPad.

The marketing of the iPad is now in full swing. Just hop onto the Apple (US) website for demos. (The Australian site didn't even have the product listed when I checked earlier...)

It seems we've been waiting for this for some time. A thin tablet that appears to have it all - web, email, photos, video - with the touch of a finger. 10 hour battery life, wireless etc. Tick Tick Tick. And then there's the apps. 140,000 of them. It will even run the apps you've already downloaded to your iPhone or iPod touch. I must admit the price surprised me - I did think it was going to be much more expensive - so I'm glad they've kept it reasonable.

With the launch of the iPad, Apple entered the digital publishing world in a big way and announced the iBook portal. It wasn't a surprise they created their own. We have iTunes for music so naturally iBook was next.

We know the ebook market has taken off in the U.S. and to a certain degree in the U.K. Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs said Amazon had done a great job with the Kindle and ebook focus but “We’re going to stand on their shoulders and go a bit further,” he said.

Five of the world’s leading publisher including Penguin and HarperCollins have already signed up to supply content. I suspect they will all follow. They'd be crazy not to! I keep hearing the comment from the Frankfurt Supply Chain meeting last October: "It will be Apple, it will be cool, and everyone will want it".

Anyway, I've yet to hear from Australian publishers what they think about the launch of the iPad and what it means locally for ebooks. Another sale going offshore I suspect? I'm not privy to rights discussions on this one but from what I gather most of the management of ebooks has been done at Head Offices overseas and the local offices get "compensated" accordingly.

I will catch up with many publishers in the coming weeks for general business meetings. Ebooks are always on the agenda even though many local publishers don't control their ebook offer. I also expect there will be some lively discussions at the APA's Digital Symposium. I've been asked to speak at the Melbourne one -- for all of 10 minutes! -- on ebooks for libraries so it should be a very interesting day!! :-)


  1. I'd be interested to know if iBooks will be available in Australia. I just read an SMH article speculating that it won't be, and it's not on Apple's Australian website.

    But...I do want one. :-)

  2. Yep, I've heard the same. iBooks won't be available for months here in Australia. I heard an industry estimate of the end of 2010. Tell the Australian consumer that after all the hype Apple created they have to wait to view their ebooks!

    Unlike you, I'm not sure whether I want one or not. I don't have an iPhone or an iPod touch now, nor a Mac or anything else Apple related (apart from iTunes). The device certainly looks appealing but part of me thinks it's another gadget to manage, another cord, another charger etc etc. and I think I was expecting more bells and whistles after all this time.

    So much hype and expectation... (sigh)

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  4. Apologies, Rachael, I didn't realise you'd replied. Yes, the name was such a bad choice and the subject of much Twitter hashtag sarcasm! I've been wanting an Apple device for a while and I think if the price isn't too far off from the other ebook readers then I'd be tempted to go for it. I'm torn, though, because I like the look of eInk, plus I try not to buy first release hardware. I'm waiting to hear more info on the BeBook Neo, too.