When Apple iTunes arrived in Singapore on 27 June 2012, it was a celebratory moment for many of us here. Located in Asia, music lovers were somehow upset for many years over the fact that we could see the wide array of music albums and tracks available but we just did not get the official permission to enjoy legally discovering, purchasing and downloading music online using our i-devices. Ditto for movies. That feeling was akin to a parent dangle candies in front of a child but when the child reaches out for it eagerly, the parent sticks out his forefinger in a disapproving manner and goes “uh, uh uh.”
Yet, fast forward to November 2012 but it doesn't seem the availability of iTunes in some parts of Asia has changed our lives in a significant way. Perhaps not yet, as some key considerations revolve around a very sensitive word starting with “l” and ending with “y” (read previous paragraph again for the answer).
In our Tusitala office, the folks love our music and our books. Albeit we have a slightly stronger lean towards the digital kind. With the launch of iTunes music & movies in Singapore, we were excited but immediately look forward to the next digital content with necks like the giraffes'. When will Apple iBookstore be available in Singapore?
One of us say give it another two years, at least. A geeky one adamantly refutes that speculation and thinks sooner than 12 months. Me, on the other hand, prefers to just wait. But the waiting took an interesting turn yesterday, when we spotted a curious SG country code in iBookstore during our ebook submission process. SG country code was not available previously, ever!
Gasp! Could it be? iBooks could be coming to Singapore sooner than we can say “where great ideas go on to do great things” (Apple's tagline for this year's WWDC).
We are confident when iBooks arrives in this part of the world, it would do great things for Asia and contribute a huge step forward in Asians embracing ebooks. However, we are equally concerned whether Apple's presence would affect local ebook stores such as Skoob, I Love Books, and a few others which are launching soon. It would be convenient for many to assume that Apple being a giant in so many aspects would dominate the ebooks market, but looking at iTunes and how many albums are still not available here despite the store is now open to us, I guess the real impact is anyone's guess.
Meanwhile, if anyone ever talks about iBooks coming to Singapore, you first read about it here in Tusitala 🙂