Apple seems to be preparing to challenge Amazon in the e-book market again. This time Apple will be rebranding iBooks app to Books.
Last time that Apple tried to take on Amazon, a lawsuit caused the company to make a massive payout to consumers.
iBooks To Books
Apple's redesign of the iBooks app is still months away. It has enlisted the help of an Amazon executive in the reworking of the app. Some changes coming to iBooks include a name change to Books.
Other changes include cosmetic changes to the interface. The bookstore will be changed to fall more in line with the look of the app store. Changes will highlight books that the user is reading at the moment, and will include a new section for audio books.
iBooks at the moment has five tabs. One shows the user's collection of books, three which are bookstore search tabs, and the last one where users can find their previous purchases.
On Wednesday, Apple released an early version of iOS 11.3 for developers which previewed some of the changes in store for the app. This included the name change to the app. The name change falls in line with Apple's recent change to apps such as iTunes that became Apple Music.
Apple is still testing the app making details scarce at the moment. To prepare for the changes to the app, Apple recently moved audiobooks from the Music app to the iBooks app. It still hasn't added the audiobooks tab to iBooks yet.
Apple was formerly a major player in the e-book market. This changed when the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against it, alleging that it colluded with publishers to raise the price of e-books. The outcome was a $450 million fine to Apple.
At the same time, Amazon's dominance over the market grew from 74 percent in 2015 to over 83 percent in 2017. Apple's share of the market has dwindled to 9 percent.
To revamp the iBooks app, Apple hired Kashif Zafar, a senior vice president at Audible, Amazon's audiobook platform. Zafar also previously worked for Barnes & Noble's Nook division.
Competition in the e-book market is heating up. Google recently started selling audiobooks on the Google Play store, and Amazon redesigned the Kindle app on iOS.
Apple's recent focus on digital services such as the App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud has been a boon for the company. Last year, services took in $30 billion. Chief executive Tim Cook forecasts that services will bring in about $50 billion by 2021.