Mike Shatzkin gives the publisher's eye view of what Apple's move means:
That will mean that the simplest and most seamless way to buy and read ebooks on the iPad or iPhone will be through Appleís iBookstore. It will almost certainly mean a growth in iBookstore market share at the expense of all the other ebook retailers. It will also almost certainly mean that a lot of people who read their ebooks on an iOS device (Iím one of them) and prefer to use any of the other ebook retailers (and Iím one of those too) will be inconvenienced and annoyed.
However, it is also true that Apple will benefit from this move that many of their customers will resent.
Read the whole thing. Its a great analysis of how the ebook industry changed in recent years from publisher/bookseller viewpoint. His argument is that the changes in the ebook industry were driven not by the publishers , but by technological change wrought by others . His conclusion:
We note that all these changes in the marketplace were created by others, not by publishers. Thatís not necessarily a bad thing, or even a new thing. Publishers also didnít spring for the investment that created superstores and then Amazon in the 1990s, all of which increased their sales. A publisherís role is to use the channels that are available to get books into the hands of readers.
From most publishersí perspectives, this change might have very little impact. Any iPad or iPhone reader who wants a book can still find and buy one. If the Apple store is strengthened at the expense of Kindle and Nook, that constitutes marketplace diversification that is good for them. (If the impact somehow fell disproportionately on Nook, though, that might not be.)
But the happy symbiosis between the ebook retailers and Apple, by which the retailers got access to customers they would not otherwise have had and Apple was able to readily deliver their customers content they hadnít otherwise aggregated, appears to have come to an end. And the iBookstore, which had been fighting others for the scraps after Amazon took half or more of the US ebook market and B&N took much more than half the rest, is about to be a much more significant competitor.