Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Apple Diving Into Digital Textbooks

Looking to further re-invent the way we consume information, it appears Apple is ready to take on text books.
Tomorrow they are expected to make an announcement regarding digital textbooks and their iPad, no doubt sending ripples throughout the publishing world.

Text book publishers have been wary of digitized versions of their books, not readily seeing the value. As eBook sales have been soaring for the past 12 months, with no sign of letting, publishers have finally started to come around. In fact, now they are salivating at the very idea of digitized text books because they know that the resale market for them will vanish overnight. Students will have to buy the latest updated version each time it comes out, rather than pick up a second hand copy, or loan theirs to someone else.

This is money in the bank for publishers which have seen their profits slipping following the success of Amazon and Barnes and Noble in handling eBooks.

So, what can Apple offer a digital textbook publisher that they can't get in print. (Besides increased profits?) Plenty.

By using their iPad as the hardware platform, Apple has an opportunity (a very big one) to make textbooks interesting. The new digitized textbooks can contain links to interactive videos, slide shows, audio recording. Instead of reading about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., click a button and listen to his "I Have A Dream" speech. Instead of looking at photos of the solar system, click a link and get a virtual 3D tour of the planets and moons.

The opportunities available to multi-media publishers on a tablet computer are nearly endless. You could do just about anything, provide any resource, information, or file format you want. And, when the latest edition comes along, instead of handing down an old textbook, just download a new one.

It's a win-win-win scenario for Apple, textbook publishers and students.

Click here to read more about Apple's upcoming announcement.

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