Steve Jobs originally rejected the idea of an ebook store when Eddy Cue suggested it, changing his mind only when Cue re-pitched it to him after development of the iPad, reports AllThingsD from the ebook trial.

Testifying in the DOJ’s e-book price-fixing case Thursday, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, said that when he first approached Jobs with the idea of a bookstore in the fall of 2009, the Apple co-founder dismissed it.

“He wasn’t interested,” Cue said. “Steve never felt that the Mac or the iPhone were ideal reading devices. In the case of the phone, the screen was smaller, and in the case of the Mac, you had this keyboard and device, and it didn’t feel like a book.” … 

It was the development of the iPad that led to Jobs’ change of heart. When Cue re-pitched the idea, suggesting that the iPad was the perfect platform for an ebook reader, Steve Jobs agreed.

Cue had his work cut out: it was November 2009 when Jobs gave him the go-ahead – and was promptly told he wanted it ready for the iPad announcement in January.

“Steve was near the end of his life when we were launching the iPad, and he was really proud of it,” Cue said. “He was working hard on it. I believed that iBooks was going to be a tremendous feature of the product. People were going to love it; our customers were just going to go wild about iPad and iBooks, and I wanted to be able to get that done in time for [the event] because it was really important to him. … I like getting my work done and I pride myself on being successful, but this had extra meaning to me.”

An attempt by the DOJ on Tuesday to use an email from Steve Jobs to prove he wanted to pressure publishers to force Amazon to change its pricing model fell flat when it was revealed that the email was never sent.

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