This Thursday at New York's Guggenheim museum, Apple
Transforming yet another industry
Founder Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he wanted to transform the textbook industry by creating specifically digital versions of textbooks that would be available on the iPad. According to Isaacson's book, Jobs believed all textbooks should be "digital and interactive, tailored to each student and providing feedback in real time." To this end, Jobs had reportedly been meeting with publishers such as McGraw-Hill
Best known in the business community for publishing Financial Times, Pearson is better known overall as an education publisher, and when it comes to digital publishing the company is quite progressive and on its game. As of mid-2011, Pearson's digital education platform-and-service registrations were up 15%.
McGraw-Hill, the other big public company in the education-publishing sector, has reportedly been working with Apple on its announcement since June, so it's probably safe to say that the publisher will be present at the Apple event this Thursday and will play a significant role in whatever Apple does going forward.
Apple gets the jump in a critical sector
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that while only about 6% of education-textbook sales will be digital this year, by 2020 that number will grow to be more than 50%. Apple has already made a push into publishing with its iBookstore, and the company has long been active in the education sector, providing lectures, lessons, and other educational content through iTunes U.
Apple and digital education are a natural fit; the company is as familiar and expert with digital as anyone out there, if not more so. Amazon.com
But for the moment, with this announcement at the Guggenheim, it looks like Apple has gotten the jump on the competition, grabbed the spotlight, and is poised to become a leader in an ever-more-important sector of the digital marketplace.
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Fool contributor John Grgurich just enjoys saying the word Guggenheim over and over, but he owns no shares of any of the companies mentioned in this column. The Motley Fool, however, owns shares of Amazon.com and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Amazon.com and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a scintillating disclosure policy.