Academic textbooks ripe for digital destruction
Apple announced the launching of iBooks 2, anapplication that will massively expand its offer of academictextbooks. Paperback editions have been straining student budgetsfor a while now and what traditional publishers offer for €100 andmore, Apple wants to provide for $15 (€12) digitally enhanced withvideos, pictures and audio files.
Steve Jobs mentioned this new strategic focus of Apple ininterviews with his biographer Walter Isaacson saying that academictextbooks represent a “$8 billion a year industry ripe for digitaldestruction”. iBooks 2 coupled with Itunes U is now aiming torealize this ambition by getting major publishers like McGraw-Hill,Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on board.
Itunes U offers a digital learning environment accessible byteachers and students sharing lectures, assignments, books,quizzes, and syllabuses. Added feature: Itunes U also compiles freecontent made available by top universities like Cambridge, Duke,Harvard, Oxford and
iBooks 2 will be functioning as a digital library wheretextbooks can be purchased. In the past, Amazon made an attempt atcapturing some of the digital book market by offering academictextbooks for Kindle. Experts, however, predict that Apple willhave it much easier attracting students given that its devices(Ipad and Iphone) can display videos, pictures and audio files.
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