Apple seems set to introduce an iPod for books, a news report claims.

The Hindustan Times reckons Apple is developing a next-generation widescreen video iPod with a book-reading mode, designed to make print easy to read.

Apple has reportedly asked a number of the world's major publishing houses to commit their full libraries of books to their electronic archives. Customers will be able to download text versions of the world's bestsellers to the memory of their video iPods.

The Hindustan Times website is currently out of action, but the existence of the report has been verified by Booktrade.

The move may place Apple in head-to-head competition with giant online retailer Amazon, which recently launched its Kindle e-Book reader and now offers DRM-free music for digital sale in the US.