Will it be too expensive? Probably. Will it be consumer-oriented? Most likely. Will educators be as frustrated by its lack of content as I've predicted? Maybe not. In fact, as details of potential content collaborators for Apple's presumed upcoming tablet emerge, I just might have to eat a little crow. Maybe.
According to Business Week,
Apple's talks with McGraw-Hill cover how the two companies can market textbooks for the tablet and ways their software development teams can collaborate to publish digital textbooks and educational content on Apple's latest device, two people say. "The talks are as much about marketing as they are about software development," says one of the people involved in the discussions.
Harper-Collins raised only my ire; McGraw-Hill, however, raises my eyebrows. Given that neither Amazon nor any of the other e-book/e-reader retailers has managed to provide a compelling electronic textbook, I should have known that Apple might be the one. I still have high hopes for Blio, but McGraw-Hill just happens to be the number 3 textbook publisher in the world. That spells a lot of potential content.
Will Apple be the exclusive vendor of the this content in an iTunes-style format? I sure hope not. If all goes well, then Apple and its iWhatever will simply be the catalyst for porting of textbooks to an interactive format. Then, whether it's an HP/Microsoft Slate or some cool new device from Asus or Pixel Qi, the heavy lifting has already been done.
And if I have to thank Apple for finally breaking open this market, then I'll be the first to serve up a heaping helping of crow.