Steve Jobs Initially Dismissed the iBookstore Idea


When Eddy Cue — now responsible for the iBookstore, among others — first approached Steve Jobs with the idea of creating an eBook store for the iPad, Jobs’ first reaction was “no” (via AllThingsD).


If you read a lot, you can understand Jobs’ reaction: reading an eBook on the iPhone can be a pain, but a Mac isn’t the best choice either. But the man behind iTunes and other Apple goodies knew where he coming from: when he held the iPad in his hands, he was certain about his iBookstore idea:

“… 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,” Cue said. “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.”

A more positive reaction came from Jobs just a couple of months before the launch of the iPad, in November, so Cue was given the challenge of bringing eBook publishers on board before January when the iPad was to be presented.

The result speaks for itself: iBookstore launched and won Apple about 20% of the eBook market. The percentage hasn’t change since then, but eBook sales doubled in 2012 and iBookstore had more than 100 million customers, according to Apple executive Keith Moerer.


  • Chrome262

    I read all the time on my iPhone 5, and I did on all the other iPhone, and iPods, it was the reason I bought a smart phone from the begin, I used to read on my HP PDA, I love ebooks and adopted them early. Hell debranded my razor so i could read pdfs. That’s why I thought eReaders were silly as you could read on just about anything you already owned, why waste the money and for the most part, loose compatibility. So I feel they came late to the game, and thinking that people wouldn’t be reading on their smaller devices was just short sited on their point. By the time iBooks came out, I already had 4 different phone apps to read with. Steve shot himself in the foot on this one, and with the deal they made with publishers, is probably why they have such a small market share on this.