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TV isn’t the only remaining market Steve Jobs planned to tackle; iPad textbooks due this week

As revealed in his authorized biography, Steve Jobs figured out the secret to making a truly user friendly television ahead of his untimely passing. But a reimagined TV wasn’t the only revolutionary product Jobs had a hand in that we have yet to see come to fruition. According to several reports, Apple plans to unveil a new product at a press conference on Thursday that it hopes will change the way students use textbook. Read on for more.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the plans, The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will reveal a new digital textbook product on Thursday that will give publishers a platform with which to create interactive educational materials optimized for the iPad. The announcement will include partnerships with multiple publishers according to the report, and at least one, McGraw-Hill, has been working with Apple on its new iPad textbook product since June.

According to Walter Isaacsson’s authorized biography, Steve Jobs had been meeting with a number of publishers and he thought all textbooks should be “digital and interactive, tailored to each student and providing feedback in real time.”

Apple will not be the first company to introduce digital textbooks to the market, but it is perhaps in the best position to deliver a product with the potential to succeed on a wide scale. Multiple universities have already begun to test programs that involve distributing iPads to students, and Apple’s tablet is by far the most popular slate on the market today. Additionally, a less expensive iPad 2 model expected to be released when Apple launches its next-generation iPad 3 will make the iOS tablet line even more accessible.

“Who better than Apple to revolutionize textbooks?” IDC analyst Al Hilwa told The Journal. “Everyone, including the industry and universities, have to come together, and this is the kind of thing Apple does really well.”

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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