While Apple tends to move in all kinds of different directions, nobody saw this coming: Apple is about to get into the textbook business. That’s right, the same company that brought you “i” everything is about to turn its efforts towards textbooks. Apple made an announcement this week that the company will be partnering up with some of the biggest textbook publishers in the near future. If you’re thinking that a new device (something to rival the Kindle, perhaps?) will come of these future partnerships, Apple has stated that no new device of the sort is in the works.
So, why has Apple suddenly decided to invest in education? There are a few plausible reasons why this makes sense. Aside from the fact that it’s always a good thing for a technology company to branch out, there’s a big market to be had in the textbook field. As surprised as some people may be to hear about the latest Apple venture, many are beginning to understand why Apple is looking toward the student market.
Digital Books: Not a Big Sell
At the moment, college students (according to a recent Mashable article) prefer physical textbooks to digital texts. However, this is largely in part due to the fact that digital books are expensive – after all, in order to use a digital book, one has to purchase a tablet or other reading device. In addition, school bookstores still sell those paperback and hard copies of books that we’ve all come to know and love (it’s hard to beat the price of a used book).
But, Apple may just make digital textbook prices cheaper. Apple has enough clout to change any market (and enough funds), and most competitors that are currently involved in a market competition have no choice but to give way to Apple in most instances. In addition, carrying around a tablet loaded with textbooks is a lot lighter and easier than lugging a backpack full of heavy books. Add to all of this the fact that some airline pilots are now using tablets in place of books, and you have an interesting equation that will be a lot of fun to following in the next few months.
Right now, Apple hasn’t revealed too much information about the upcoming textbook venture. However, the company did tell press that details about Apple’s textbook plans will surface next week. For those looking to buy Apple stock, now might be a good time to purchase a few slices of the pie. For those who sold Apple stock when Jobs died, well, you may want to re-invest. It sure looks like Apple is moving forward and those who invest will be taken along for the sweet ride.
Is Apple a good match for the textbook world (is Apple not a good match for any world?). How are you feeling about Apple’s foray into textbooks? More importantly, if you are a student, would you consider purchasing a tablet or reader and buying up some Apple textbooks? Just think, years from now, textbooks could have a unique Apple spin to them –complete with logo and all.