Differences Among iBook ePub, Amazon Mobi/AZW and Common PDF

Posted by Adam Gorden on December 25, 2017 16:14:01 PM.

When talking about the most popular e-book formats, most of us will think of PDF, ePub, Mobi, AZW, etc. However, when we asked that what are the detailed differences among these complicated eBook formats, the answers could all be that they are a kind of e-book format encoded in various e-books downloaded from different online e-book stores. So what's the actual differences that we can't ignore among PDF, ePub, Mobi and AZW? Since Amazon and iBooks store are the most popular two online e-book stores, what's more, Amazon applies Mobi and AZW to Amazon e-books compatible with Kindle, while iBooks store adopts ePub format in its iBooks files, therefore, today, I will give the complete introduction and explanation among iBooks ePub, Amazon Mobi/AZW and common PDF.

most popular ebook formats

What Is Amazon Mobi/AZW

Created by French e-book company, namely Mobipacket, Mobi is an e-book file format, used in Mobipacket reading software. Mobi formats could be unprotected and protected by digital rights management (DRM) technology. However, because of the acquisition of Mobipacket by Amazon in 2005, the support of the .mobi file extension was officially discontinued in 2011 with the AZW format superseding it. As a result, the AZW is very similar to Mobi format. The biggest differences between AZW and Mobi are that AZW is protected by Amazon' DRM technology and AZW is limited to use in Kindle books. But when the DRM restriction is removed from Amazon AZW e-books, you can rename these DRM-free AZW files to Mobi e-books directly while keeping the complete e-book files. And as far as I know, apart from the Kindle readers, AZW format can also be opened on smartphones, computers both PCs and Mac, as well as tablets, such as iPad, Anroid tablets, and Windows 8 tablets. The newer version of AZW is the AZW3, also famous for Kindle Format 8 (KF8), which can support more styles, fonts and layouts than the AZW or Mobi. And as far as I know, AZW3 is gradually replacing Mobi.

What Is Common PDF

PDF stands for Portable Document Format, which is a file format created by Adobe Systems and supported by multiple operating system and computer hardware. It is one of the most popular and easy-to-use e-book formats, since it can be supported by various e-book viewers, such as Foxit Reader, Adobe Reader, PDF-XChange Viewers, Nitro PDF reader,Xpdf, and more. A PDF file can be any length and include various fonts, images, links, buttons, etc. What's more, it is very simple to convert a word document to an e-book format, and save them it as a PDF.

What Is iBooks ePub Format

Published by International Digital Publishing Forum (also known as IDPF), ePub is an open-source e-book file format with the .epub extension. Based on the ML, XHTML and CSS technology, the common ePub format has the high compatibility with multiple e-book devices, such as iPhone, iPad, Sony e-Reader, Nook tablet, etc., but not including Amazon Kindle. However, the iBooks ePub e-book format has the apparent difference from the common ePub files, due to FairPlay DRM technology. With the intention to prevent iBooks users from sharing iBooks ePub e-books to unlicensed devices and e-readers, iBooks ePub files are encrypted by DRM copyright technology, created by Apple. These DRM ePub files are not allowed to read on Apple ecosystem only, such as iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, etc, even if you purchased these ePub files from iBooks store legally.

More Tips on iBooks ePub Files & Amazon AZW/Mobi & Common PDF Files

If you would like to make iBooks ePub eBooks readable on non-Apple e-Readers, such as Sony e-Reader as well as Kobo e-Reader, you should remove DRM promotion from iBooks protected .epub files with the help of TunesKit iBook Copy for Mac, which is the professional iBooks DRM removal software and then you can read these iBooks eBooks on almost all non-Apple devices. There is a brief tutorial for your reference: Remove DRM Protection from iBooks ePub Files. Plus, there is also an effective solution to convert iBooks DRM ePub e-books to Amazon Mobi/AZW or common PDF. First of all, you can get help from iBook Copy for Mac to get rid of DRM limitation from iBooks purchased ePub files with near 100% original quality preserved. And then you can use some free e-book converters to transfer iBook unprotected e-books to Amazon Mobi/AZW or PDF. If you have no idea about which one to choose, you can choose Calibre, a free and open-source e-book converter, designed to convert, edit, create, manage and read iBooks on different formats. It is able to convert iBooks DRM-free ePub files to Mobi, AZW, PDF, etc.


is an experienced writer of TunesKit who is obsessed about tech, movie and software.

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