More iPhone Books Than Games

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The number of books available as iPhone apps now exceeds the number of games. The iPad–and better functioning iPad-like devices being released by other companies soon–is likely to spark a reading revolution that will also touch the Christian writers and publishers.

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.

Other companies, like Hewlett Packard, who is releasing their advanced Slate product soon, are not trying to dominate the market by creating their own bookstore as Apple is trying to do. Hewlett Packard has forged a deal with to sell books already available on that platform. The  acceptance of iPad-like devices, and the competition among companies, will drive sales that will benefit everyone in the book industry, including the Christian book industry, and iPhone book sales data is evidence of that.

“The iPhone has always been perceived as a games-centric device, said Dan Franklin digital editor at Canongate, “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 is Apple going to do something?” because “they have form.” A move from Apple into the e-book 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.

Published on: Mar 25, 2010

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