ibooks_heroAmong Apple’s bevy of upgrades to its new desktop operating system, there is one change that likely caught the attention of the folks at Amazon.

The new OS, named Mavericks, will see the arrival of iBooks on the Mac desktop. Any book a user is able to get on their iOS device will also be available through the desktop app, and users will be able to purchase new books straight from the desktop app, without having to go through iTunes.

This means added competition for Amazon’s Kindle. It’s a notable move in part because a majority of e-book owners use a desktop to do their reading, and now Mac desktop users will be able to do that with iBooks.

Amazon once had 90 percent of the e-book market before Apple debuted the iPad, and now the Seattle retailer has just 60 percent. That number very well could drop ever lower with Apple’s addition of iBooks to the desktop.

Meanwhile in court, Apple continues to contest allegations that it conspired with major book publishers to fix prices in the e-book industry and has called out Amazon as a “monopolist.”

And in related news, Barnes & Noble ended support for its Nook apps for Macs on Tuesday, focusing instead on Windows 8, iOS, Android and its web app. The Nook app already didn’t support the latest versions of Apple’s Mac OS X.

Previously on GeekWire: Reading revolution: e-book market set to pass print books by 2017

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  • guest

    Don’t see it as much of an incremental threat. If you wanted to read a book on your Mac there were already numerous options to do so. Ebooks are ideally suited to tablets and readers, not laptops or desktops.

  • Billy Bob

    I can’t believe how long it took Apple to do this! For a while, before I had a Kindle Fire, I was using Kindle for iPhone and iBooks. I could never, ever, understand why Apple listed the f-ing books you purchased in iTunes, but then wouldn’t allow you to read them on your Mac.

    They should have done this YEARS ago!!!

  • Wildsubnet

    I would think the cross over ownership between a Mac desktop and an iPad is pretty high, so I doubt this would cut into the Kindle market share very much. If they had announced a windows (or Web) client maybe. Also, if you were interested in this before now, you probably are already using Amazon’s app, which is available on just about every platform out there. Not to mention a pretty good web based app, too.

  • Tom Semple

    There is a difference between percentage of people who have read a book a
    desktop/laptop and the percentage of _reading_ that is done on a desktop/laptop. The people who read ebooks the most do a lot of that reading on mobile devices that they can use anywhere. But the statistics quoted don’t make any such distinctions. Personally, reading an ebook on a desktop or laptop is something I do only very occasionally.

    However, in terms of textbooks/education, this makes a lot of sense. Almost all students need to have laptops, and while they may have tablets, the laptop is their primary tool. However, I think that without an iBooks for Windows app, Apple is still limiting themselves in terms of market penetration here as well.

    Meanwhile there are Kindle apps for both Windows and Mac OS, iOS and Android, as well as a browser based reader.

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