Apple announced a whole bunch of stuff today; an iPad for little people, an iMac so thin you can shave with it, and some kind of hard drive technology that actually looks pretty cool . But buried amongst the big announcements was the fact that you can now buy new books through iBooks in New Zealand.
The iBook store has been open in New Zealand from the beginning, but up until today only offered free, out-of-copyright works to NZ accounts. These are all very well but sometimes you just want to read the latest paperback and buying an ebook is certainly convenient. I don't mind paying for a good book and up until now I have been forced to go through Amazon's (pretty good) Kindle service. But it is nice to have another choice.
Let us look at some prices, taken from random titles in the various new and featured sections:
|Graham Henry:Final Word||$24:99||n/a (coming soon)|
|The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters: Destiny Rising||$13:99||$9:85|
|The Casual Vacancy||$28:99||$18:46|
|Fifty Shades of Grey||$13:99||$12:30|
|A Dance with Dragons (Complete Edition)||$13:99||$18:46|
(All prices are in NZ dollars. iBooks lists things in NZ dollars and presumably charges GST. Amazon prices are in US dollars but I have converted them using the current exchange rate)
In this random selection of titles from recent "featured" titles, it seems that Amazon is mostly cheaper but not always so it pays to compare. Also, Amazon still has a better selection (Graham Henry's book being a rare example of something on iBooks but not yet on Kindle), often with multiple editions of the same book available. As always, it pays to shop around.
Now all Apple has to do is hurry up and open the New Zealand TV store. We have waited long enough.