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Apple adds gifting option to iBookstore for first time

While Apple has long allowed other types of digital content to be gifted, the option to give e-books had been unavailable until now.

As the holiday shopping season comes down to its last week, Apple has added the ability to make gifts of e-books through its iBookstore.

Amazon -- Apple's chief competitor in the e-book market -- has for years allowed Kindle e-books to be gifted. And while Apple has long allowed other types of digital content to be gifted, such as apps and music, the option was unavailable to iBookstore users.

The new feature, which was first spotted by Macworld, is similar to the gifting function in the iTunes Store and App Store. Once a title has been selected, users can now select "Gift this Book" from a dropdown menu next to the price and enter the recipient and sender's information, as well as a personalized message.

Delivery can be scheduled for specific dates, but like other Apple gifting services, titles can only be gifted to people in the same country as the sender -- there is currently no support for international gifting.