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!! :-)