Some thoughts about Apple textbooks

Much has been written about apple’s proprietary approach to the textbook business.

I think the critics have a point.

But there are three important things that apple is worth talking about and applauding

1. They have created the most useful and most successful tablet ever. Microsoft has been working on for years. Android tablets are still a mess. Yesterday @parislemon wrote that apple sold 3x as many iPads as Kindle Fire. Considering the relative price point this supports my claim that apple has the best tablet. Period.

2. Schools. Apples original market success was in education. That where I got my first Mac. My friend danl lewin pioneered this business for apple back in the day and as a result it’s in their DNA. Middle and high schools all over the country are rolling out iPad trials. My daughters is in 7th grade. Their entire grade got iPads this year. It’s a smashing success as far as I can tell and the apps are fairly limited. They use it for google docs, various creative apps and of course Wikipedia.

3. Digital Textbooks. I’ve seen a lot of digital textbook efforts over the years. They fall into largely three camps.

-analog business model and price point with little/no ux breakthroughs to take advantage of the platform

-disruptive price point but hit or miss content and poor ux

-analog business model and price point and crappy ux

Apple is promising to change the price point *and* deliver a beautiful breakthrough in user experience.

I have often pointed out areas where apples policies have pissed me off (app store review process, inability to replace search engine on iPhone, drm back in the day etc etc).

And i will continue to call them out.

But we are early days in textbook 2.0. I’m happy to see apple at work in this space.

(excuse lack of links and typos. wrote this in the back of a cab on my phone)