I'm not expressing shock at a Barnes & Noble ebook app on the iPad—they have one on the iPhone, after all, and an option to buy books in the iPhone app.
While Apple's been allowing micropayments within apps, I'm really curious to see if Apple's going to allow an entire bookstore selling content—the same kind of content that Apple's going to be selling—be built into third-party apps on the iPad, even given the fact that Apple's own iBooks app and included bookstore is a separate, downloadable app.
That Barnes & Noble is trying this, though, isn't surprising—they're way behind Amazon, along with everybody else, so getting their platform and books on as many devices as possible is the obvious way to go. I'd expect Amazon to show up shortly as well, since the hardware is secondary, really, to getting people hooked on the platform. Letting people read on their Kindle, their phones, computer and tablets is really the only way it's viable.
The question is, even if these apps hit the iPad, stores intact, will Apple's more unsavory competitive instincts flare up? It's a distinct possibility, more than ever. The irony being that the quickest way to these kill competing ebook platforms is probably to allow them on the iPad, making it even easier for their users to make the switch. Though perhaps that's not lost on Apple. [Barnes & Noble via Electronista]