Although it wasn't the most enticing of the flurry of rumors floated in the FT's Apple tablet report, the claim that iTunes might grow an eBook arm certainly raised eyebrows. It turns out, though, Apple might actually outsource this one.
This from BusinessInsider, whose source eagerly pooped on the idea of an Apple-run book store:
The answer is no, according to a source connected to the e-book business. Based on our conversation with this person, it seems that any Kindle-killing the Apple tablet does will have to come from third-party e-book sellers, like Amazon (AMZN), Barnes & Noble (BKS), etc.
What pushes this over the line that divides quibbling counter-rumors from Real Interesting Things is a little story that's been unfolding over at Amazon as of late:
The device team has the job of making the most remarkable purpose-built reading device in the world. We are going to give the device team competition. We will make Kindle books, at the same $9.99 price points, available on the iPhone, and other mobile devices and other computing devices.
That's Amazon honcho Jeff Bezos, explaining his comfort with the idea of hardware from other companies—including Apple, which already tacitly supports Amazon eBooks by way of a Kindle iPhone app—sending customers to the Kindle store. In the absence of an in-house system, a Kindle app for the tablet just makes sense.
In other words, "Jeff Bezos' worst nightmare" might actually be Jeff Bezos, and not much of a nightmare at all. UPDATE: As commenters have noted, Apple's biggest precedent for something like this is Audible—an Amazon subsidiary. So! [BusinessInsider]