While Apple has long allowed other types of digital content to be gifted, the option to give e-books had been unavailable until now.
The new online bookstore will offer commissioned works based on existing TV series, books, comics, and music.
Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, says he had to convince Jobs to pursue iBooks, and he only had a couple months to make it happen before the iPad announcement.
The company has pulled a bookstore app in China that featured titles deemed "illegal" by the Chinese government.
With the East Asian nation now added to the list, the tech giant's iTunes bookstore is available in 51 countries worldwide.
The company says that users will be able to browse 25 new sections containing books across a wide array of genres.
New Zealand and a host of Latin American countries are set to get their own branches of the electronic bookstore sometime today.
Dubbed "eBooks Kindle en Espanol," the new e-book store will offer Spanish-language books and publications.
The NBA's latest star has been in the public eye for just days, and already there are seven books about him. It just goes to show what's possible in the new world of book publishing.
As the nation's preeminent bookseller undergoes its own digital transition, it needs to figure out how to keep hundreds of brick-and-mortar locations relevant.