Apple didn’t emphasize this heavily at the introduction, but the iBooks app is not going to be bundled with the iPad — it’s an app you download from the App Store, putting it on an (at least somewhat) equal footing to e-book readers from other companies. From the “Features” page in Apple’s iPad web site:
The iBooks app is a great new way to read and buy books. Download
the free app from the App Store and buy everything from classics
to best sellers from the built-in iBookstore.
If you look at the photos of the iPad, the only bundled apps included with the system appear to be Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Maps, Videos, YouTube, iTunes, App Store, Settings, Safari, Mail, Photos, and iPod. Perhaps this will change if and when iBooks becomes available outside the U.S.
Update: Good point from a reader on Twitter: making iBooks an App Store download will allow Apple to update the app more frequently than if it were tied to OS updates.
★ Wednesday, 10 February 2010