Steve Jobs Didn't Want an iBookstore, but the iPad and Eddy Cue Changed His Mind

Testifying in court yesterday as part of the ongoing e-books price fixing trial, Apple senior vice president for Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue offered some perspective on the history of iBooks and the iBookstore, noting that Steve Jobs was initially opposed to such a project. As shared by AllThingsD, Cue noted that it wasn't until just prior to the launch of the iPad that he was able to convince Jobs of the potential of e-books.

“… When I got my first chance to touch the iPad, I became completely convinced that this was a huge opportunity for us to build the best e-reader that the market had ever seen,” Cue said. “And so I went to Steve and told him why I thought [the iPad] was going to be a great device for ebooks. … and after some discussions he came back and said, you know, I think you’re right. I think this is great, and then he started coming up with ideas himself about what he wanted to do with it and how it would be even better as a reader and store.”

Cue had initially suggested an e-book effort earlier in the fall of 2009, but Jobs felt that the iPhone's screen was too small to allow for a good user experience and that the Mac didn't feel like a reading device. By the time Jobs was on board, it was November, and the iPad was scheduled for a January introduction, giving Cue just weeks to line up the deals needed to build the iBookstore.

jobs_ibookstore
In relating the story, Cue noted that getting the iBookstore deals done took on special significance for him, as it was obvious that Jobs was in declining health at the time. Jobs had taken a strong interest in iBooks for iPad, and was committed to showing it off at the iPad media event, giving Cue extra incentive to make sure everything was in place.

Top Rated Comments

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96 months ago
And Cue also convinced Jobs about the iPad mini. Cue is a very persuasive man.
And also an asset to Apple
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago

Definitely more valuable than a digital file.


I have a few hundred kilograms of books in my garage. No space for them. I would swap them for eBooks in a second.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago
Just goes to show that he did value other people's opinion even if he was extremely stubborn at times.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago
Great to have iBooks as an option on my iMac.

On a separate note WWDC 2013 will remembered as the first true post-Jobs keynote. So many changes that Jobs would probably not have green-lighted if he was around.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago

I have a few hundred kilograms of books in my garage. No space for them. I would swap them for eBooks in a second.

As much as I love being able to carry many books digitally, I also still like having paper versions of many of them.

For one thing, it's a lot easier to loan out a paper book ;)

I can also sell or give them away if I don't want them any more.

Moreover, I can lay out two or more books open to pages I'm doing research on, next to each other. (If I had an infinitely expandable tablet screen, that would work too.)

So I'm torn between the space they take up, and their benefits to me as separate blocks of info.

--

There's also my huge collection of old aerial navigation books that are simply not available digitally (although some are now due to copyright lapsing), which also have great historical physical value.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago

II really wish Apple would have just partnered with Amazon for the ebook side of things.


As a book publisher, I'm grateful that Apple did no such thing. Amazon has already pretty much eliminated all competition from brick-and-mortar bookstores. I shudder to think what would have happened had Amazon and Apple teamed up on ebooks.

The more distribution and sales outlets, the better for everyone — consumers and publishers alike.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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