« Inside the hostile, secretive work environment at Apple | Main | How to convince your brain to spend less »

January 20, 2022

Will the iPad become the universal textbook of the future?

Late last year, we discussed an intriguing story about Apple, the company that was in the push toward a new, lucrative sector.

According to New York Times, Apple, under the reign of CEO Tim Cook, was to become the new name in corporate communication, supplanting RIM and turning businesses from using BlackBerries to using iPhones.

Certainly, if Apple could corner the corporate market, that’s a big win, though the Cupertino-based tech giant isn’t done yet.

The latest market Apple wants to dominate, as the company announced today, is the textbook biz.

At New York’s Guggenheim Museum this morning, Apple discussed its new plans for the iPad, which is to turn into the universal textbook of the next generation.

*Bing: Where to buy an iPad

You’ve seen the commercials, sure, which show off the tablet’s educational aspirations, but now Apple has created something called iBooks Author, a program that allows developers to design textbooks on the fly.

Much like the app store, we suppose, this should open things up big time for designers, and, budget-wise, it’s an interesting move for students, too.

At university or college, textbooks run something like $1,000 per year in Canada.

Let’s put the cost of an iPad at $600, taxes in, and for argument’s sake the cost of a textbook “app,” one created simply for digital use on the Apple touchscreen, at $50 each.

Over the course of four years, traditional textbooks (say ten per year) would cost around $4,000. With the one-time purchase of an iPad and ten e-textbooks per year, that’s a cost of about $2,600 over four years.

Now, of course, if these new so-called e-textbooks aren’t fifty bucks and really the same price as a conventional text, we’re not talking about a good deal anymore. But if they are less expensive, well …

Would you buy your kids an iPad for textbook use? Or, use one for your studies yourself?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



Post a comment


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...