back to article Confirmed: no iPad iBooks for Blighty

Apple UK's iPad web pages are now online and they confirm fears that the tablet's iBooks application and associated content store will not be available to British buyers at launch. The UK page matches its US equivalent,, in all respects but one: it lacks the US' …


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  1. Charlie Stross


    This was inevitable.

    1. Rights to English language books are typically sold in two tranches -- US & Canada, and UK/rest of world. Ebook rights are also sold with this territorial split and, get this, they're EXCLUSIVE. So a US publisher is violating the author's copyright and in breach of contract if they sell books in the UK, and vice versa, UNLESS they acquired world English language rights (rare).

    2. All this means is that Apple will have to ink distribution deals with the British publishers' arms rather than the US parent companies before they can fire up the iBook store in the UK.

    3. Other ebook apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch should work just fine in the iPad -- including Amazon's, Stanza, eReader, and others.

    Nothing to see here, move along now.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely not??

    "Worse, it clearly suggests iBooks is for material acquired through Apple and not e-books you may already possess" Apple take control of everything with it's DRM loaded items..surely not? ;)

    Apple = just as controlling as bloody government drug (tobacco/alcohol) dealers.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Who cares?

    I generally like Apple gear. I work on a Mac Pro, have a MacBook and an IPod. But for the life of me I can't see the point of the Ipud. I like to go to book shops and browse, especially for some of the older out of print titles that show up from time to time. Can you see a book like "Wings of the Luftwaffe" by Eric Brown, a test pilot who flew and recorded details of all the Luftwaffe aircraft after the war, ever showing up in a digital format? I don't think so.

    When i buy a book, its mine forever, a physical item that I can do what I like with. Methinks books moving over to a digital format is not a good idea.

    I also think they have released this thing too early. It just another revenue stream for Apple and the phone companies. At the moment I'm spared the prospect of feigning interest in other people holiday pictures, but now they'll bring the bloody things to me again. Sometimes not all advances in technology are for the better. The only thing that I think this is good for is for people who don't want a computer with a monitor, but just browse the net, play with their media, and read email, without needing a computer desk, loads of wires and plugs. Perfect for the parents, perfect for the girlfriend. I'm sure it will be a huge success in that respect. Not aimed at your computer buff, but a new generation of consumers who just want to do.

    Paris? and mypad of course

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Not really worth the paper (pad) it is written on is it!

    So one of the key apps/features is not available. I'm guessing the UK will get mauled over the 3G capabilities too, with the Telco's wanting long contracts etc. RipOff Britain again!

    I'll get a MiFi instead I think!

    1. RichyS

      Re. Blimey!

      Wow, that's a lot of assumptions there. Seeing as the eBook (iBooks, whatever it's called) tool uses the standard ePub format, it seems likely that you can get you ebooks from elsewhere for now. It's not like iPods only play music from the iTunes store. Just that, for now, the iBooks Store won't be available. So, describing one of the key apps as 'not available' is a pretty big assumption.

      And the iPad is stated as being unlocked for 3G. So, just stick a PAYG SIM in there (okay, micro SIM -- I'm hoping that's just a regular mini SIM with a bit more plastic cut off!) when and if you need data. Phone contracts in the UK tend to be very much cheaper than the US, thanks to a decent bit of competition; so I'm not really sure the basis for that assumption, either.

    2. Big-nosed Pengie
      Jobs Horns


      LOL. Love it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Worse than government

      At least we get a chance to vote those feckers out once every few years

    4. bygjohn


      In particular, for those beefing about iBooks not letting you import your own e-books (which of course isn't actually known to be the case AFAICT), just install Stanza and import all you like. Matter of seconds to do it, not much longer to install the desktop app.

    5. Daren Nestor

      Ahhh, this explains...

      a fair bit. How does selling books to me in the "UK/Rest of World" jive, then?

      And is this why are US book covers are eye-bleedingly awful?

      1. Richard Gadsden 1

        How do sell outside the US? selling paper books is fine legally - that's just first sale doctrine.

        Selling Kindle books to non-US customers is a complete legal minefield, and that's why it took so long for them to get contracts allowing them to do that. I think their solution is legally dubious, but it's legal.

  5. VespertineStar

    e-books go on an e-reader

    I'd wager you could get maybe half an hour's worth of solid reading before the eye strain set in but hey, I could be wrong. It is a shame you can't load your own content into it though, will you be able to import books from other (e-?)publishers at all?

  6. Ben Gibson

    Different Region Pricing/Deals

    I hates them, I hates them SO MUCH.

    What I would like to know is whether they are still doing regional pricing/deals now and just can't get out of it or if they are stuck in this model for some reason.

  7. Tom 35 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I'm sick of this crap.

    So who's fault is that?

    I can buy the Book from, but not the eBook? Oh but you live in Canada we can't sell it to you.

    What a load of B.S.

    Some one needs a kick in the head.

  8. justsaying
    Thumb Up

    Why be so surprised?

    Apart from the bucketload of fail Apple have already dished out in the last 24 hours, having no iPad iBooks in the UK is actually a blessing.

    Did you see St. Steve's demo of this? $12.99 per book sale from his nickel and dime bookstore? That will easily equate to £12.00 here in Blighty. You can go to Amazon and pick up the same book in old-fashioned paper format (otherwise known as "The iPulp" a few centuries ago) for half the price.

    OK, you don't have it always on demand via your back-lit jesus-pad, but you never have to worry about running out of juice to use it, you get less eye-strain, you can fold a page over when you want to "bookmark" it, you save a shed-load of money compared to the shiny digital version, you can sniff it, you can loan it out to someone, you can resell it if you need the beans, you look less of a tit reading it.

    The benefits are almost infinite. Thank you Apple for sparing the old world from this. Now, if you could run along and get back to concentrating on brilliant operating systems and put the "we're a mobile company" aside, you'll make a lot of your old admirers so much happier.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      tit for tat...

      " look less of a tit reading it."

      Well, that depends, really, what it is you're reading. At least with an eReader of some kind there is a measure of privacy so I wont get sniggered at if I pull out the latest Dan Brown, or something.

      Of course, if I'm sitting on a bus at 8am on a miserable morning and I pull one of these iPad things from my shoulder sack (it won't fit in a pocket), well, I'll still look a bit of a tit no matter what I'm, point conceded. :-P

      But you "could" still look a tit too, especially if you sniff your treeware device...What is it with the smell of books that people make such a deal of it when defending them against digital versions? The only smell I ever got from a book was glue and mould and dust...cough...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Looking a tit

        I can read my treeware wherever there's light, I don't have to worry about it running out of power and I don't have to worry about someone whacking me over the back of my head to take it away from me.

        If the latest Dan Brown is your thing then you could always wrap it up in a copy of Razzle or some other top shelf publication to save you the embarrassment of being seen in public with it.

    2. Dogfish

      Heavy, Man

      Who cares about content when the thing weighs 1.5 pounds !

      I can't see myself comfortably holding the best part of a bag of sugar for anything longer than the time it takes to read a few web pages or check a few mails. I'll stick with my Sony, thanks.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Making the same mistakes

      I can see the eBook market going exactly the same way as the music and film industry.

      There needs to be a *big* shakeup of international copyright and IP laws.

    4. bygjohn

      What is all this about eye strain?

      I really don't get all this tripe about eye strain. I've been happily reading ebooks on my iPhone for a while now (using Stanza) with no ill effects. And my eyes are probably worse than many people's due to health issues. If you're having problems reading your screen for long periods either you need an eye test or your screen's set up badly.

    5. Ian Stephenson Silver badge

      Re: you can fold a page over when you want to "bookmark" it

      There is a special corner of hell reserved for people like you.

      Folding a page over indeed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Bizarrely, because you have poor eyesight that might be why you don't suffer eyestrain.

        My partner has dreadful eyesight, (yeah yeah, I've heard all the jokes) only a tad away from qualifying for all sorts of medical and benefits related stuff and she has no problems with reading off backlit screens but I get dreadful headaches after a couple of hours. My eyesight is good enough that I don't need glasses at all, tested two weeks ago.

  9. Si 1

    Not surprising

    It's a shame Apple haven't bothered to sort out publishing deals anywhere else in the world but it's hardly surprising. I was buying all my ebooks from for the iPhone until last summer when suddenly they started blocking UK purchases (based on credit card location apparently). Supposedly they don't have publishing rights in this region, so currently my only option is the Kindle app, but last time I tried that the choices on offer were very meagre.

  10. Keith Oldham

    Oh dear !

    Looks like we're stuck with carbohydrate-based data storage media.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ who cares?

    Imagine for a moment you are a senior researcher or empowered with duties and responsibilities to ensure that views, theories and opinions are supported with weight of evidence.

    Is it handier to carry around a great big case of books and stuff or better to have the same in electronic format readily viewable (and printable?) and shareable in something less than 10 by 10 by .5?

    Welcome to the 21st century dood.

    There may indeed be remnant dinosaurs rambling over the UK but their carbon based working methods seem quite limited.

    1. Maverick

      Reply to post: @ who cares?back @

      don't be a complete twunt

      do you REALLY think the DRM world of iTunes will have all you need?

      FFS you silly l33t w4nker

      PS perhaps understand the reality of recycled paper before making teenaged smart arsed comments like the PFY you obviously are

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother


      Ever heard of compiling a summary of all the salient points, perhaps even bothering to actually research and remember? It's an old fashioned idea called "being knowledgeable" If your work is so vast then you "reference it" stating your sources.

      Besides the Ipuss is only available in max memory of 64GB. If you are so enamoured with carrying around vast amounts of data, try a 20th Century idea called a "lap-top" It has the added benefit of storing and displaying data in many different formats too. dood.

      Imagine you are a senior researcher, there is a power cut, you can't charge your Iphut, you forgot to fully charge it earlier, you are screwed "dood"

      I can drop my file or book from a great height, it will survive, the ipad will no doubt be designed to survive the 1m drop test. Books don't fail with catastrophic loss of data when you need them most. Honest boss I opened the manual and all the letters had disappeared from the pages?

      I bet it has some lovely low profile electrolytic capacitors in it, the kiss of death to all electronic devices, shortest MTBF of any component. Buy another one in 2-4 years? Books last centuries.

      The beauty of a book is that I can lend it to you and still keep on working with all my other books. Sure perhaps you give me an electronic copy of your huge research tome, if I happen to have a tablet ?

      Its an interesting idea looking for a market. Sometimes somethings are best left alone.

      Coming soon to you, the Idiet, on your tablet you can see pretty pictures of all your favourite food, and because you've bought the latest Ismell too, you can savour it too, whilst you tablet administers your dose of appetite suppressants and tranquillisers. Whilst comfortably swathed in Steve's reality distortion field.

      This luddite will stick to books and the big papery things that I fold up, swat flies with, use for packing ebay stuff, soaking up liquids, starting fires, letting the stray cat eat its diner off.

      You see dood, the written word is easy to distribute, without any corporate or government control. For what you gain in convenience you loose a little control over the means of production & distribution.

    3. sandman

      Paper is still useful

      As someone who has done a lot of research it can indeed be easier to use paper stuff. Let's say I'm doing some historical research. I probably won't be carrying a lot of books, I'm going to be heading for a big library or a major archive. Here I'll grab a big table and get the books, papers, etc that I require. I can have them all open at the same time, track events, compare/contrast,etc. This is sort of hard to do on any form of reader. Oh, I'll also be at it for days or weeks at a time, so I really don't need the eyestrain a backlit screen is going to cause. I'll probably make my notes using a writing stick on more dead trees as well.

      Then I'll write it all up one of the new fangled Babbage engines and publish on more dead trees and the web.

    4. nsld
      Paris Hilton

      and if you where a bright senior researcher

      You would have all that stuff stored and backed up on servers and access it over the web so when your shiny new iPud gets dropped or you get mugged you havent lost anything.

      And also being a clever researcher you would be doing it with a more powerful netbook, thats cheaper as well.

      Paris, she likes it shiny and new as well!

  12. Annihilator


    I'm guessing here, but if the iPad is a success, I doubt it'll be down to the eBook functionality. eBook apps like this already exist on the iPhone, laptops etc. The only reason that the new generation of eReaders are succeeding is down to people not liking to read books with a back-lit screen.

    No "indifferent" icon, so badgers to that.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Canada, eh?

    Looks like there is some further negotiating in Canada yet as well.

  14. My New Handle
    Paris Hilton

    Getting mugged

    So you're sitting on the bus/tube/train reading that paper copy of the latest and greatest and everyone ignores you.

    The next week you're sitting on the same bus/tub/train coming home one evening and decide to read the Metro or somesuch reading material on your new iPad. Six weeks later you come out of your coma in hospital minus your iPad having been relieved of it by some regular thieving git. The attraction of "shiny shiny" was too much for the Neaderthal who decided that it would fund his next session of drug-induced oblivion.

    Its risky enough taking an iPhone out of your pocket let alone this darned thing. As that old song goes ... "I can see trouble ahead ...."

    Paris, 'cos she's nothing but trouble also

  15. Anonymous Coward

    If anyone believes....

    ...this is merely down to publishers, you are sadly deluded. iBooks could've been included with the ability to load in your existing eBook purchases, with integration with a store at some later date.

    But that would Apple to work with an existing format.... so I think the truth will be closer to "We're working with publishers about a new iBook digital format specifically for the iPad, and only the American ones seemed to have signed up for it so far."

    I like Apple products, and I generally have no issues with them but, when it comes to inventing alternatives to perfectly good existing formats, for the sole reason of wallpapering houses with dollar bills....well... Apple's got previous on that score.

  16. Eek
    Thumb Down

    well ebooks will always be 17.5% more expensive in the Uk

    As books are 0% rated for VAT in the UK but ebooks aren't

  17. Nigel Whitfield.

    Different DRM

    Equally annoying is that though Apple is indeed using ePub, they're not using the Adobe DRM that almost every other ePub reading device uses for protected content, according to Adobe's blog at

    So, if you've bought books for, say, a Sony Reader, and decide you're tempted by the iPad, you won't be able to copy them over. You'll need to buy them again. And anything you buy from the Apple bookstore won't be usable on other ePub capable devices.

    DRM is irksome, of course. But at least the ePub ecosystem was more or less unified. There's a danger that, far from strengthening it by putting ePub on a high profile device, Apple will achieve the opposite, splitting it into two camps - 'works with iPad' and 'works with everything else.'

  18. bex

    its the same wth audible

    audible uk has a quarter of the audiobooks of the usa site.

    its about time in a global economy this thing was done away with, no wonder people download things illegally when they can't get them in a legal way

  19. vegister

    sorts out the men from the fanboys

    the ipad is so useless that anyone buying one will establish their credentials as a devoted follower of the cult of steve.

  20. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Re: you can fold a page over when you want to "bookmark" it

    Hear, hear. Second only to people who can't read paperbacks without splitting the spine.

    1. justsaying


      It's MY book and I can choose to do whatever I want with it. So there!

  21. The First Dave


    What's all this nonsense about pulling this out of your pocket on the bus?

    My gut feeling is that the majority of these will never leave the living room of its owner - this is clearly far more of a leisure device than a business tool.

  22. Anonymous Coward


    I thought your post was most insightful. Except it is a shame you can't spell 'lose', dood. :-)

  23. Ed 34

    Eye strain

    There is a lot of talk of eye strain in relation to reading things electronically.

    It seems to me that reading text of a certain size in certain light conditions would strain the eye the same amount, regardless of whether that text is printed or electronically displayed.

    One might make a convincing argument that a backlit display actually constitutes more favourable lighting conditions for reading.

    I am curious, does anyone have any scientific basis for why eyes might be more strained when using an e-reader as opposed to a traditional book? I am assuming of course that the text size is more or less comparable - disregarding special applications such as large-print material for those with impaired sight.

  24. Don S.

    Where do these ideas come from.

    I really would like to know where the idea that iTunes is a DRM heavy environment?

    The second that members of the PPMA (Pirate Paranoid Music Assoc.) allowed it DRM was gone from iTunes music. I have both ripped CD's and iTunes downloaded music and neither my iPod nor iTunes knows the difference.

    There may be some DRM on downloaded videos as I don't download video using iTunes I wouldn't know. I do know that any DVDs ripped using Handbrake work no problems at all.

    There is no reason, other then some musings from some winer from Adobe, that ebooks will be any different.

    Just a reminder, Microsoft is the king of incompatible DRM, not Apple (See Zune/Plays for Sure).

    P.S. I am still boycotting because after 3 years they still couldn't be bothered to work out an MP3 download deal with the Canadian PPMA.

  25. Joel 1


    On the iBook demo, there were free books available, including Dickens and other out of copyright texts. If nothing else, regardless of any publishing deals, I would have thought that iBook could start off with the full Gutenberg collection in the UK...

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