Books Overtake Games As Most Numerous iPhone Apps
The electronic book passed another milestone this month, with the number of books available on the iTunes App Store passing the number of games for the first time. According to data released earlier this month by the mobile phone advertising company Mobclix, there are more than 27,000 books now available as apps. Games lag behind, with 25,400 published this year, followed by entertainment, education and travel.
It's a trend that seems to be gathering momentum, with the number of book apps outnumbering games almost two to one over the past month. Next month's launch of the iPad, Apple's new tablet reader, alongside a dedicated book store, is set to accelerate the shift to electronic reading still further.
"The iPhone has always been perceived as a games-centric device, said Canongate's digital editor, Dan Franklin, "so the idea that books are outranking games is very exciting."
Franklin, who moved into digital publishing a year ago, said that his first thought on getting the job was, "When are Apple going to do something?" because "they have form". A move from Apple into the ebook market will "bring new people to reading like they have brought new people to music with the iTunes store", he added.
"It's a very exciting time," agreed Penguin's digital publisher, Jeremy Ettinghausen. "It's very exciting that people are using iPhones to read books."
"Initially books weren't seen as being top of the pile," Franklin explained, but with the launch of the iBookstore imminent, "Apple are now taking more notice of book submissions".
"With the iPad due next month, and Google looking like they're going to launch their Google Editions, this is the key year for electronic books," he said.