It seems that gradually Apple is going back to the strategy that made it so popular, and that is products that spell innovation. Now, the company is assaulting markets where players such as Amazon have been thriving over the past few months. Apple launches iBoooks 2 for iPad in an attempt to take some share in the $8 billion electronic textbook market.
On Thursday, Apple Inc launched the iBooks 2software, said to reshape and boost the education market in the United States and raise the rate the iPad is being used in the sector. Reuters writes that “the early plan is to enable students to buy their books directly through Apple rather than through their school districts”. In other words, an iPad for each student.
Apple worked during the project with publishers Pearson PLC, McGraw-Hill Cos Inc and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. These three publishers account for 90 percent of the textbooks sold throughout the United States. Terry McGraw, chief executive of McGraw-Hill, said:
“I give such incredible marks to Steve Jobs and Apple for having this vision and pushing it through the iPad”. McGraw believes that Apple’s new initiative will “open the market beyond high school and university to everyday consumer. In fact, McGraw has no doubt that the project “will open up a learning agency for anybody and anywhere”.
The pilot launch of the project features books that are priced at $14.99 each on the iPad. Apple will take a cut of each sale, somewhere around 30 percent.
Starting this Thursday, iBooks 2 is available as a free app on the iPad. Apple Marketing Chief Phil Schiller said the time to reinvent the textbook is now and iPad offers a great tool for that. “It’s hard not to see that the textbook is not always the ideal learning tool. It’s a bit cumbersome”, he said.
During the presentation. Schiller explained that, at the moment, teachers need help in educating the children and Apple is there to deliver.
At the same time, Apple Internet chief Eddy Cue believes that young students will get the hang of iPads very quickly. He emphasized that the iPad is very affordable at $499.
Yesterday, Apple also launched a new free application, the iBooks Author, available for free in the Mac App Store. Basically, with this app anyone can easily create a book.