Amazon: "Primed" to Disrupt Apple's Textbook Plans?

This article, by Jason Perlow, originally appeared on the ZDNet Tech Broiler blog on 1/21/12.

Summary: Apple may have thrown down the gauntlet for the iPad in education, but don’t count Amazon out.

So. Apple. A huge library of textbooks for $14.99 each and a free authoring program for rich textbook content.

That about sums up this last week’s events.

Oh wait. You can only sell that content produced with iBooks Author on the App Store and of course all of those texts are stuck in Apple’s “Walled Garden”.


Are we supposed to be surprised that this is the way Cupertino wants to do business? No, of course not.

It does bring up the issue however that if Apple becomes successful in making iBooks electronic textbooks a successful enterprise and an educational standard, a “digital underclass” might be created for those who cannot afford to purchase electronic texts if paper texts become no longer economically feasible to produce.

While I projected that this is probably more likely to happen faster to our public library system than our educational system, it does bring up the disturbing thought that iBooks textbooks might not be an affordable solution for most public school systems and only privileged, wealthy school systems will benefit from them.


Read the rest of the article on the ZDNet Tech Broiler blog. Also see How Apple is Sabotaging An Open Standard For Digital Books, by Ed Bott, on The Ed Bott Report on the same site.