Looks like the discussion of this thread is becoming "Apple vs the ePub Standard".
I don't take the hard work everyone has put into the ePub standard lightly.
But . . . .
The standard is, after all, early nineties web stuff isn't it? When trying to create an eBook for the first time I thought "Oh! it's HTML & CSS. Then . . . Oh no! They are trying to read it with Commodore 64s"
Apple iPad is like the iPhone. It arrived and quickly showed how a single device could be much more than a what they used to be. Anyone who just needed a telephone didn't buy an iPhone
Look at how many companies have copied Apple's iPhone?
The iPad arrived and is much more than a reader. It's a full blown PC and has some eBook apps.
If you just want to read a book, that's fine, you can read it on your Sony and Kobo or Kindle but the new demographic that has iPads and soon to follow Android Pads will be expecting ebooks to be more exciting than real books. The vast majority of eBooks available at present are mainly novels and they are formatted as novels and are read as novels.
The new generation want the fireworks and can only get that from dedicated apps at present.
The books I'm doing look good in iBooks. Though on Adobe Digital Editions they look . . . oh well, plain.
I think the commercial players will push the ePub limits because there's money in it to do so and their audience will expect more than ePub can provide at present.
While ePub is a standard and little guys play by the standard rules you have to think that these behemoths didn't get where they are by playing by the rules.
A further comment: Apple have always innovated or used what others didn't see as valuable and implemented it while others scoffed. I still remember one manager arguing that real computers didn't need a mouse.