Apple Inc., the global leader in Innovation and technology has been working on digital textbooks with the group of publishers like Pearson PLC, McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a trio responsible for 90 percent of textbooks sold in the United States.
The move pits the maker of the iPod and iPhone against Amazon.com Inc. and other content and device makers that have made inroads into the estimated USD $8 billion market with their electronic textbook offerings. It could also see Apple shake up the traditional textbook market significantly, changing the emphasis from content to hardware; but publishers said working would be a great opportunity to revive and expand the market.
Terry McGraw, chief executive of McGraw-Hill said :
I give such incredible marks to Steve Jobs and Apple for having this vision and pushing it through the iPad. I had been talking to Apple’s founder Jobs and his team since last June about recreating textbooks as applications. Jobs died in October. He said having textbooks on iPads will open up the market beyond high school and university students to everyday consumers. I think without a doubt this will open up a learning agency for anybody and anywhere.
McGraw has confirmed that Apple would take a cut of each sale, believed to be its standard amount of some 30 percent. He said he was very relaxed about having to share his profits with Apple, as printing and distributing textbooks accounts for about 25 percent of their cover prices. Apple also unveiled iBooks Author, a new free application available on the Mac App Store which enables anyone to create a book. It also re-introduced its iTunes U service as a standalone app, with up to 100 complete university online courses from colleges including Yale and Duke.
At an event at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller and Apple Internet chief Eddy Cue introduced tools to craft digital textbooks and demonstrated how authors and even teachers can create books for students.
Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with industry research firm Gartner said :
The value of the app is directly proportional to students having iPads.
The Apple Inc. revealed that the early plan is to enable students to buy their books directly through Apple rather than through their school districts. The books in the pilot launch are priced at USD $14.99 each on the iPad, with a range of interactive features.