Posted in: adoption, Apple, Special Report
Once Apple trains its sights on an industrial niche, it’s safe to say there will be come shifts coming. Music, smartphones, movies and TV have all felt the impact of the company’s tech. And the latest target: School textbooks. A multi-billion industry that serves up a wide variety of tomes to students and their schools at extraordinary prices, this lucrative industry’s been chugging along quite nicely, thank you very much, for many many years.
By issuing updated editions routinely, publishers have been able to force school districts and students to buy their high-priced wares pretty much since the printing press was invented.
But the digital age is changing all that. And the textbook publishing industry’s seen the handwriting on the wall.
So it’s a fairly safe bet that textbook publishers are going to be fairly happy with Apple’s announcement last week that it’s jumping into the textbook fray with all feet.
The Cupertino-based computer giant has decided that its next-generation iBooks 2 will include textbooks that will allow students to access engaging, high-quality and interactive content using an iPad.
Apple also announced the iBooks Author application for Mac that allows teachers, educators, publishers and studentscreate e-books from an iWork-style interface.
Not that you couldn’t load a book, even a textbook, on an iPad before this.
But those books had few of the features their hardcopy versions didn’t have — except the need for a cover made from an old grocery sack.
Apple’s new initiatives will be aimed at creating versions of textbooks that are havie features a hard copy of the text could only dream about.
So does this mean publishers are cut out of the equation? Hardly. They’ll actually get a new lease on life, but they won’t publish in the old way (that old way was pretty much six centuries old.) They’ll be creating textbooks with additional features that “engage” students — video, graphics, search functions.
These are “cool” books. They don’t get dog-earned, they don’t weigh eight pounds (before that grocery-sack cover) and they’re easily updated by the author.
Apple’s early and dramatic domination of the tablet market ensures that they got a lead on penetrating industrial markets with their technology, while their competition struggles just to catch up.
But the new paradigm in business is that industry follows the technology that’s being created by computer wizards. In the case of Apple, it’s technology is now so popular and ubiquitous, the company is starting to dictate how an industry will use its products.
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