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

Updated 4 years ago
Published Jan 17th, 2012 8:25AM EST

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 Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.