Random House books come to Apple's iBookstore for iPad, iPhone
Content from Random House began populating the iBooks application on Wednesday, just hours before Apple is set to unveil its second-generation iPad. Some rumors have suggested that the new device will have an improved display with superior anti-reflective properties, allowing for easier reading of content like e-books in sunlight.
When the iBooks application launched last April, Random House was the most noteworthy absence from Apple's new digital storefront. Other major publishers, including HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster made their content available from day one.
Random House's content is able to be sold on the iBookstore now because the world's largest publisher announced on Monday that it had adopted the "agency mode" for e-book sales in the U.S. That model allows Random House to set consumer prices for e-books it publishes, and provides retailers with a commission for each sale.
Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all content sold on the iBookstore, just as the company does with applications sold on the App Store. Random House content was previously available on the iPad only through the Amazon Kindle application and separate storefront.
Apple's agency approach allows publishers to set the prices paid by consumers. Random House executives were concerned that adopting the agency model would lead to considerably lower prices and profits.