Apple will reportedly be holding a media event in New York City in late January, according to Kara Swisher of AllThingsD. The event, as yet officially unannounced by Apple, will apparently be focused upon eBooks and media publishers (via TechCrunch). The event will also reportedly involve the Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Services and Software, Eddy Cue, who has responsibility for the iBookstore as well as the App Store and the iTunes Store.
It’s unclear at this stage what the event will actually be about but there are a few reasons why Apple could be holding this type of event. The first could potentially be the launch of a new pricing model for the iBookstore, beneficial for Apple, publishers and the consumer. A subscription based rental system (like Netflix for ebooks) may not be such a bad idea, after all, your local library has been doing it for a long time. Given that Apple streams TV, Movies and Music for a charge, why not books?
Another option could be the launch of a new printed media management system on the Mac. Currently, printed media on iOS devices is managed by Newsstand but there is no alternative on the Mac as all printed media is managed, poorly, by iTunes. There isn’t even any native software on the Mac to open epub files, the format used by iBooks on iOS devices. Perhaps a cloud based storage system, combined with either an app-based or browser based reader on the Mac could be in the works.
Another alternative aim of the event could be the launch of an Apple publishing network for academic textbooks, something that has been hinted at previously by Steve Jobs. Digital textbooks would certainly revolutionize learning for students, particularly in the case of university students where limited numbers of a core text in the library can limit access.
Perhaps a more distant possibility could be the launch of iWork ’12,which could strongly be focused upon the publication of books and media. Apple could be looking to encourage as-yet unpublished and budding authors to publish on the iBookstore, particularly since many popular titles on the Store retail around the one dollar mark. This may be well out of the realms of possibility however and would likely not involve a media event.