In December, Apple hired Kashif Zafar, an SVP of Audible, which is the Amazon-owned ebook company, to turn the focus back to Books and lead the app refresh effort.
In the wake of the lawsuit, Apple essentially put its iBooks and iBookstore services on the back burner, Gurman notes, while shifting its focus to building out other digital services including Apple Music and its more recent Apple Podcasts platform.
Apple released an early version of its iOS 11.3 mobile operating system update to developers on Wednesday, providing a hint that the new e-books app is on the way. That resulted in a $450 million fine for Apple in 2016. If the new report is true, Apple's push to modernize iBooks could significantly increase the level of competition in online books. Clearly Apple doesn't want to miss the chance to capitalize on the e-book and audiobook market, which has become increasingly popular but is also now dominated by Amazon.
The company is working on a redesigned version of its iBooks app - potentially called just Books - that's supposed to be simpler to use and feature an updated digital bookstore, according to Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources.
iBooks is the latest app that Apple is redesigning as part of its goal of generating $50 billion in annual revenue by 2021. But now, Apple is putting books front and center with a renamed app and a much-needed redesign, according to Bloomberg. Apple and the publishers denied any conspiracy and Apple said it was trying to find a way to compete in a market where Amazon already had monopoly control. Zafar also used to work as a content vice president at Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader division.
Apple's renewed effort highlights its different approach to software services and hardware, compared with Amazon.
"The revamped app in testing includes a new section called Reading Now and a dedicated tab for audio books". Apple sells e-books to make its high-priced devices more attractive, making money on the sale of the hardware.