More on Apple's Textbook Plans for Thursday's Media Event

apple guggenheim event skylineThe Wall Street Journal takes a look at Apple's plans for its education-focused media event scheduled for this Thursday, and while the report is a bit short on specifics, it does examine some of the possibilities and demonstrates how the textbook industry is ripe for a shakeup at the hands of Apple.

Among the more specific claims included in the article is a brief discussion of the company's work with textbook publisher McGraw-Hill on a project that has been underway since last June.

McGraw-Hill Cos., Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are among the education-publishing companies most likely affected by an Apple textbook announcement. The companies have experimented with interactive approaches, such as allowing students to take quizzes as they read and hear audio for foreign-language study, but many digital textbooks have looked a lot like their physical counterparts.

McGraw-Hill has been working with Apple on its announcement since June, a person familiar with the matter said. It wasn't known whether Pearson and Houghton Mifflin also would participate.

The report also points to Cengage Learning, another textbook publisher that has worked with Apple in the past and who will be attendance at Thursday's event. Cengage acknowledges that a combination of its content with Apple's hardware and distribution "could be exciting", but declined to talk specifics of any deal.

Apple's media event is being held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City on Thursday, January 19. It is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM Eastern / 7:00 AM Pacific, and Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue has been reported to be a key figure in the presentation.

Tag: wsj.com

Top Rated Comments

0007776 Avatar
135 months ago
Textbook publishers are making big bucks with locked-in markets, they're not going to give it up so easy. I'm prepared to be unimpressed -- yes, I know, too cynical.

Considering you can't sell used ebooks, I can see textbook publishers selling books for a bit less than hardcopies since your only option is to buy from them. I'm sure used hardcopies will be a better deal still but as new editions come out they might become harder and harder to find.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macopotamus Avatar
135 months ago
I am hoping the iPad 2 gets a price drop to $399, at least for the educational market. This would put it in the hands of a lot more students, making it the default tablet for the edu market and helping Apple to regain dominance there.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ToothBSU Avatar
135 months ago
Uninformed Viewpoint

I have read numerous comments tagging the textbook publishers as the enemy - out to exploit students and "rip them off". I would like to first point out that students and institutions apparently choose to ignore the fact that college tuitions are escalating at a higher rate that textbooks and nobody seems to portray the colleges as the enemy.

Secondly, the reason that textbooks are so expensive in the first place is because of the used book market. Publishers are forced to increase cost to compensate for lower sell-through due to the availability of used texts. Costs to authors, production, research, distribution, etc. exist and when new editions account for such a small percentage of actual books sold, cost for the book must increase to cover production cost.

I don't understand how students are willing to pay thousands of dollars in tuition to go to a good school, but asking them to pay $150 for a quality textbook that helps prepare them for a career is out of the question. Instructors depend on these materials to stay informed, current and relevant - yet they are quick to throw the publishers of those books under the bus when students complain.

Students today have more options than ever before when it comes to purchasing options - ebooks, individual echapters, textbook rental, and innovative new formats focused on student demands.
It's easy to place the blame on the publishers, but do your homework before making such statements.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tsuchiya Avatar
135 months ago
I know that the iPad opens up some interesting ways to interact with content, but to be honest...I would be happy I could just have my regular textbooks optimised for a 9.7" screen. Right now none of my recommended books are available as ebooks. which is a shame. I think Apple has the clout to get some of the more stubborn publishers to offer up digital content.

I hate my textbooks, they are chunky, heavy, awkward to hold and need to be constantly propped up so the reading angle is right. The iPad will solve all these issues.

Also think about never having to wait for a textbook to come back in your school library. Or incurring massive fees for lateness. Both were issues when I was doing my degree, I ended up buying most of my book list which cost nearly £200...and I STILL had to lug the things around :mad:
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MisterMe Avatar
135 months ago
Two years ago, I asked a textbook sales rep if his company about his company's plans for ebooks. What he told me was not encouraging. His ebooks would be sold at prices about 60% of the dead tree versions of the same books. The textbooks would not actually be sold. They would be effectively rented for one year. A student should purchase and keep all of his/her textbooks. It is understandable that a student does not keep textbooks for general education courses, but it is essential that textbooks in upper-level major courses are kept and used to start each student's library. According this sales rep, his company had no plans to allow ebooks to be used for more than one year even at a higher purchase price.

I hope that the Apple event addresses these and other issues.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chirpie Avatar
135 months ago
Just when I thought I could get away with getting all my books online and having them on my iPad . . .

3 of my profs said it's going to be a open book midterm and final, no electronic devices, meaning I have to actually buy the hardcover book
womp womp
This had me wondering, does this open the floodgates for students to come up with more ways to cheat? Not to mention getting distracted in the classroom.

/meandering rant

I have students that sit in the back, open their laptops, and just work on homework from other classes all class long. Until, of course, I tell them to shut the device off.

I'm sure they hate me for it, but I don't like wasting my evenings answer their e-mail questions when I already went over it in class and they simply didn't pay attention.

/meandering rant off
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...