Today’s Apple event focused mostly on the company’s music products–its iPod line and iTunes. There were three two pieces of news with implications in the book space: first, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that 35 million e-books have been downloaded through the iBooks platform, according to the blog GDGT (via eBookNewser). [Thank you, Twitter, for the correction--35 million e-books downloaded, not sold.] Second, Apple unveiled the new iPod Touch; finally, the company announced the November release of iOS 4.2, the updated operating system for the iPad (and other iOS devices).
The new iPod Touch will feature the same Retina display as the iPhone 4, which, as you’ll know if you’ve tried it, actually makes a huge difference in e-reading–text is much crisper and easier on the eyes. For folks who don’t want an iPhone (and AT&T’s often patchy service), the new iPod Touch now brings many of the iPhone’s features, including FaceTime video chat, multitasking, and the fast A4 processor chip. More iPod Touches out in the world means more people downloading iBooks, the Kindle App, and other popular e-reading platforms.
The other significant piece of news is the release of iOS 4.2 operating system, slated for November. It brings a number of highly requested features to the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, such as the ability to stream music and video from a desktop to the iOS device. Most significant for publishing, though, is the fact that this OS update will bring multitasking to the iPad, meaning it works even more like a full-size computer, and meaning the iPad further distinguishes itself from dedicated e-readers.
Jobs also said that Apple has shipped 120 million iOS devices, and all of them have e-reading capabilities.
Check out Gizmodo for full coverage of the event, including information about Ping, Apple’s new media-sharing social network, and the new super-small iPod Nano and Shuffle, which you can’t read books on.