Big Apple event to feature digital textbooks (Rumor)

Big Apple event to feature digital textbooks (Rumor)

Summary: Apple will use a press event in NYC next week to announce its move into digital textbooks. Is anyone really surprised?


Join us for an education announcement in the Big Apple. Jason O'Grady

On Wednesday Apple sent invitations to the media (including The Loop) to attend an event in New York City next week. The festivities will take place on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 10:00 am ET at the Guggenheim Museum.

The invitation (above) depicts a chalkboard with an outline of the New York City skyline with a giant Apple logo smack-dab in the middle. The text at the bottom reads simply

Join us for an education announcement in the Big Apple.

The rumor mill is abuzz that the event will showcase Apple's foray into textbooks. Nick Wingfield writes for the New York Times that it will showcase a new push by Apple into the digital textbook business, but not feature any new hardware.

Talk of such a move by Apple has been bubbling since a biography of Apple’s late chief executive, Steve Jobs, came out in October. In that book by Walter Isaacson, Mr. Jobs told him that he wanted to transform the textbook market by hiring prominent textbook writers to create electronic versions of them for the iPad. Mr. Jobs told the author that he believed Apple could get around state certification processes for textbooks by making them free.

Makes perfect sense when you think of it.

Should traditional textbook publishers be worried?

Topic: Apple

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  • RE: Big Apple event to feature digital textbooks (Rumor)

    I polled my twenty students in my college sophomore math class. Without exception they preferred physical text books not only for math but also for their literature courses. I was surprised by this result.
    • RE: Big Apple event to feature digital textbooks (Rumor)

      Thats very sad. Are those students perhaps all over 55 and returning adults?
      Todays college age kids are electronic everything at my community college and paper is just something they throw in the waste basket.
    • RE: Big Apple event to feature digital textbooks (Rumor)

      @sapid I think this is because they haven't seen the Apple vision for digital textbooks as yet. There were MP3 players before the iPod. Smart phones before the iPhone. And tablets before the iPad. Let's see what textbooks now look like, & ask the question again...
  • RE: Big Apple event to feature digital textbooks (Rumor)

    Hey now, I am 55 and I want my school books on the iPad. I have just returned to school for a change in plans and I am taking classes in a field that is not computer related. Not a single text book I need is available in iBooks, Kindle or nook. Well not quite true, I tested out of Anatomy and the Tortora Anatomy test is available on Kindle. But I do not need it. I need others and I want them electronic.
    Larry Macy
  • I'm all for this ... but curious ...

    As the parent of two school-age kids (one in 6th the other in 9th grade), I'm all for electronic textbooks to replace the bulky, heavy books they have to lug around now. Their backpacks literally weigh 15 pounds (maybe more) and they have to lug them around all day, because they don't have enough time between classes to dash back and forth to their lockers to swap books. (Their respective school campuses are too big, geographically.)

    I'm seriously concerned about them having to shoulder all that weight so much each day -- the kids themselves are only 75 pounds or so -- and can't definitely imagine that it could create some skeletal or muscular problems.

    But I am curious about Jobs' supposed comment (haven't read the book yet ... it's on my coffee table, in hard-cover form, not on my iPad) that they could release the books for free. No doubt, Apple has the money to do that. And I suppose they'd make money by selling more iPads that folks would use to read these free textbooks. But I do have to wonder how anyone else -- like a publisher -- could possibly compete with that? Subsidizing free books with in-book ads seems cheesy. Beyond that, I don't see how a publisher could compete with free textbooks from Apple. Anyone else have ideas?
    • RE: Big Apple event to feature digital textbooks (Rumor)

      @jscott69 As far as the textbook publishers are concerned I have zero interest in how they could compete with free textbooks. None. They've managed to scam generations of students multiple times by introducing "changes" and "encouraging" university reviewers to accept the "new" book and not allowing their professors to use the "old" book that was "new" the semester before - essentially making a student spend $200/yr on a book for the same class... and those "changes" are more in the nature of stylistic differences or changing a picture or two. Given that the average full time student takes 5 classes that's $1,000/yr for textbooks. Given the choice I'd rather spend $200 bucks less for an iPad which can do so much more.
  • What took them so long?

    Publishers (of all kinds of books, not just textbooks) must be among the worst business people in the world. Dragging them into the 20th century is hard enough, never mind the 21st. No real interest in electronic books (especially for children) was shown until the iPad came out.
    Laraine Anne Barker
  • RE: Big Apple event to feature digital textbooks (Rumor)

    Ok, I'm 50 years old and returned to being a student, going for masters. I had been an IT person for 27 years (almost everything - client services, programmer, analyst, sysadmin, DBA, network admin), and I was looking at different career options. So, although one of the older crowd, I have been carrying around my laptop. I too would prefer textbooks to be available on an iPad, even if the same price as the textbook (although it should be cheaper). Two of my courses, luckily came with an e-pub version of the book on CD inside the book (so you had to buy the book anyway). I loaded them into my iPad and my MacBook Pro laptop. Both these books were of the 1000+ page books and weighed a lot (didn't actually weigh them, but still heavier than my laptop + iPad) so not having to carry them was a huge plus. I can understand why the first poster had said that most students prefer real textbooks to e-books. However, I can only see the resale value later, in my case, I sold my two heavy textbooks to other students at the end of the semester and got back quite a bit of money because they were still new, minus the CD (which you could still order and pay for which I didn't know until I bought the sealed textbook). I'm going to investigate getting CDs of the next textbooks, unless they are offered in e-pub, or mobi (Kindle) format which I would prefer.

    If you use the textbooks, in e-pub which are easily converted to mobi, with either the iBooks, Nook Reader, Kindle Reader, the student who needs to flip back and forth between pages, such as in a math book that has the answers in the back, is to use the bookmarks. Of course the Post-It's stuck to the paper version might be more easily referenced, once I got used to the bookmarks, I could flip rather quickly. Also, I think another reason is highlighting, but then again these reader can use highlighting and further, they are reference-able. So, I don't think that is such a plus for paper. The only other reason that I can see is that you can write notes in the textbook. Again, annotations are available on the e-readers as well. Also, those annotations are reference-able. How many times have you flipped through your paper book to look for your annotations or highlights. It is so much easier to get them from your index and they will not be illegible. Haven't you ever written something into the margin of a paper book, then go back to them later and discover you can't read it because you wrote it quickly or abbreviated something in a non-standard way? I have.

    For another book, which seems to be happening a lot, is looseleaf text books. I do the same thing, I sit down one evening and scan the entire book. Other students just take the chapters being covered. Then I convert to e-pub AND mobi. At the end of the semester, sell the book and it will be in pristine shape. I had a class like that, except I kept the book. I took my class notes on my laptop. There are a lot of students that are taking notes on laptops these days, so rather than grouping in the back of the classroom (I always sit front row), you can tell where the outlets are since those are the seats that everyone gravitates around. The only problem comes with those professors that give exams "open notes - closed textbook" so obviously won't allow any electronic devices. I also had one prof, who put up slides on the overhead, but would take them away before being able to write or type what you wanted. I took pictures with my cell phone and made my own notes later. I had the best notes.

    So, this digital textbooks event is great. I would spring for the iPad or Kindle DX or Android tablet, for my children if the books were available on that device instead of lugging around so many books. I have two semesters to go (after this one) but my kids have years to go. I have all my notes kept electronically, and my kids have reams of paper.
  • RE: Big Apple event to feature digital textbooks (Rumor)

    My friend was working on apple and he changed his profession and life build career because he discovered the best method to get a ipad for free. Each problem which I have with iPad it's finished for me because my friend Tony helps me.
    After he told me the best method to get a free iPad, it always helps me with all sorts of questions I have. This is his job and I appreciate very much his website .
    I hope that he will help you with your all questions. It is an amazing man. All my family got free iPads . It's a user proof category there if you don`t believe me. This man is my idol