Aussies get access to iBookstore, still losing out on content pricing

Australian iDevice users have finally gained access to paid, new release content in Apple's iBookstore, six months after users in the United States.

While Aussie users gained access to the iBook app at the same time as the rest of the globe, the ability to use an iPad, iPhone or iPod as a serious e-reader had been crippled by a lack of new release material, with only old, out-of-copyright books available for download.

Publishers including Macmillan, Hachette, HarperCollins, Hardie Grant, Murdoch Publishers and Wiley all have titles available for Australian users at launch, and Apple told The Sydney Morning Herald ''thousands'' of new release books have been added. Most publishers have promised to make new releases available on the iBookstore at the same time, or soon after, print versions hit the stores.

But the news isn't all good for Australians eager to get their fingers on a virtual tome or two. Despite a soaring Australian dollar, Aussie iBookstore users are losing out in comparison to those in the United States.

For example, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, available for $US8.99 on the US iBookstore, should equate to about the same amount in Australian dollars, with the AUD hovering around the USD 99 cent mark. Yet despite facing any of the distribution costs faced by bricks-and-mortar retailers, Twilight will set Aussie bookworms back $AU12.99 from the iBookstore.

Even when browsing Australian authors - of which there are relatively few at the moment - Apple's online offering still doesn't represent value for money. The biography of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Lazarus Rising, can be picked up from a bookstore shelf for around $AU25, but costs nearly $10 more from the iBookstore.

Adding insult to injury, it's been reported that many previously free titles now carry a price tag despite absolutely no additions or changes to the book itself.

Apple has pointed the finger at publishers for the pricing disparity, but with a US iTunes account just a few clicks away for those who know the way, it's likely many Aussie users will forgo a trip to the Australian iBookstore in favour of its American counterpart.

The Australian iBookstore can be accessed via the free iBook app; no extra software is needed.

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Nothing new here.....

Everyone thinks they can charge us Aussies 20-40% more than the USA and other markets and we will just accept it and buy.

I can tell you with the Dollar hitting level with the American dollar now...we just buy direct from the usa or other markets like Japan. And when Companies like Apple and MS was to be greedy like this we don't buy their crappy products at all!

Widnow's is a classic case its ALWAYS 30+% more expensive here than the USA....WHY ???? Cause they can! Then they bitch and moan and wonder why piracy exists lol

/rant off

It's simple: Don't buy from the iBookstore. Aussies are hardly the type to go "oh well, it's expensive but I guess I'll just pay it" anyway... It's that kind of idiocy that keeps Apples big fat profits rolling in!

noleafclover said,
It's simple: Don't buy from the iBookstore. Aussies are hardly the type to go "oh well, it's expensive but I guess I'll just pay it" anyway... It's that kind of idiocy that keeps Apples big fat profits rolling in!

We are well learned in the art of buying overseas - gogo aussie dollar.

Actually on a slightly related note, I've never understood why books / programs that are bought online cost the same as the ones bought in store.

I mean shouldn't they be a bit cheaper since there were no manufacturing / printing costs involved?

/- Razorfold said,
Actually on a slightly related note, I've never understood why books / programs that are bought online cost the same as the ones bought in store.

I mean shouldn't they be a bit cheaper since there were no manufacturing / printing costs involved?


Well that was the point originally, but the developers/publishers have realised that people will pay the same and increase their profits

It IS a big deal and if we as consumers take a "nothing can be done about it" attitude then guess what, nothing will be done. Publishers need to step into the 21st century and offer consumers a better deal.

BrundleFLY said,
It IS a big deal and if we as consumers take a "nothing can be done about it" attitude then guess what, nothing will be done. Publishers need to step into the 21st century and offer consumers a better deal.
I don't see how it is the publisher's problem to be honest. I mean it's not their fault the Australian Government wacks a GST (and probably other taxes as well) on it, further jacking up the price. The publisher needs to make a profit to say in business but it's hard when the local government wants a cut in the profits. Reducing the cost of the item might be good for the consumer but is bad for business. That is my 2 cents take with a grain of salt.

BrundleFLY said,
It IS a big deal and if we as consumers take a "nothing can be done about it" attitude then guess what, nothing will be done. Publishers need to step into the 21st century and offer consumers a better deal.
US prices are without tax, presumably Australian prices are not... in addition to publishers charging differently.

Anyway, just setup a US account, I do the same with Kindle.

not a big deal about the prices because they are set for retail at different prices long before.. Being Canadian it can suck as well but it how it always is. Even if I walked to a book store and the CAD = USD it would still be a price difference of about 10-20 percent..

edit: just read about the actual book prices compared to the retail prices.. my bad