iBookstore

Apple e-books trial day 9: Steve Jobs takes the stage

June 17, 2013: 1:56 PM ET

On the day the U.S. is to close its antitrust case, Apple evokes the memory its late CEO.

FORTUNE -- "Once Steve decided he wanted to pursue the e-bookstore, he got more and more excited."

That was Apple (AAPL) senior vice president Eddy Cue, the alleged "ringmaster" of the conspiracy to raise e-book prices at the heart of U.S.A. v. Apple, being steered toward the end of his cross examination to talk about Steve Jobs.

Cue had testified last week that he was under extra pressure to sign publishers up for Apple's iBookstore in 2010 because Steve was nearing the end of his life, and this was a project he cared a lot about.

When Cue returned to the stand on Monday, Orin Synder, Apple's chief counsel, did his best to exploit the pathos.

Before playing the video above, he had Cue describe how Jobs was "excited, pumped up, engaged" by the project, and how his fingerprints were all over it.

  • Jobs reviewed it on at least a weekly basis, poring over the software iterations in painstaking detail, "at the pixel level," and coming up with new ideas between meetings.
  • "Steve reviewed a lot of design comps," Cue testified. And when the software became available, "we would play with it together."
  • It was Jobs who came up with the idea of turning the virtual pages on the iBooks app with a page-curl animation.
  • If Jobs  didn't come up with the name "iBook" himself (Cue couldn't recall), he certainly approved it.
  • Jobs had a hand in designing the virtual bookstore, down to its faux-wooden shelves.
  • It was Jobs who chose to launch the iBookstore with a freebie: A color, interactive version of Winnie the Pooh.
  • It was Jobs who chose Teddy Kennedy's biography "True Compass" as the title he would buy in his onstage demo.

"It meant a lot to him," Cue said. "Steve grew up in the 60s, during John and Robert Kennedy's time. He followed Edward's career."

Dead Kennedys. Dead Jobs. Cue the video.

When it was over, Larry Buterman, one of the DOJ's co-counsels, pointed out in his re-cross that the digital version of "True Compass" that Jobs bought on the iBookstore that day for $14.99 was still available on Amazon for $9.99.

Link: Elizabeth Williams' courtroom drawings.

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