Joined: 14 Jul 2011
Apple Launches Assault on Education Market
It was the great Sun Tzu who said that "the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won." It appears that Apple is well versed in The Art of War as this morning's invitation-only press conference was equal parts opening salvo and decisive blow in the fight for dominance in the education market.
The unveiling of iBooks 2, iBooks Author and exclusive partnerships with textbook publishers Pearson, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and DK has solidified Apple's place as the unquestioned leader in electronic textbooks. The fact that the firm has gone beyond merely publishing existing textbooks in an electronic form, but completely reinveting them as well has got to have their competitors, I'm looking at you Amazon, weeping.
At the event Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller, who led the event, said the goal here is reinventing the textbook. “Textbooks aren't the most ideal learning tool,” he said. “They can be cumbersome, they get dog-eared, they suffer from wear, they're not interactive, and they're certainly not easily searchable. The iPad, on the other hand, is pretty darn portable, durable, and searchable.”
Textbooks found on iBooks 2 will feature movies, multitouch gestures, links, lightning-quick searches, photo galleries, Q&A sections, manipulatable 3-D models and other interactive elements. Schiller stunned those in attendance when he said that the textbooks available via iBooks 2 will not exceed $14.99. There is your subsidy right there.
Admittedly, this isn't going to be an instant revolution, schools don't purchase textbooks that way. But wait, just four years. In the time it takes someone to matriculate through high school, you won't be able to find a school that dosen't purchase nearly all of their textbooks through Apple. To paraphrase Sun Tzu, "Game, set, match."