Steve Jobs Was Skeptical About iBooks At First

Steve Jobs iBooks
The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs needed to be convinced about entering the e-books market by Eddy Cue, senior vice president of internet software and services at Apple.  Cue described how he had to petition for iBookstore during the e-book testimony regarding price fixing this week, according to AllThingsD.

Cue pitched the iBooks idea in 2009, but Jobs “wasn’t interested.”  The iPad was not created at that time.  As the iPad was nearing launch, Jobs gave Cue’s team under three months to prepare the iBookstore for a public demo.

“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 … 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” stated Cue.

Cue was at a trial answering questions about how Apple negotiated with publishers about e-book pricing.  Apple was pushing an agency model where publishers could decide the price.  This move countered Amazon.com’s move to sell many best sellers at $9.99.

The Department of Justice used e-mail communications to and from the late Steve Jobs as evidence.  Cue strongly denied any wrongdoing despite large publishers already settling with the Justice Department.  “The publishers set the prices” added Cue. “We gave them [iBookstore users] a great offer.”

This case is expected to be finalized by the end of June.

[Image Credit: AllThingsD]

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