Apple’s textbook initiative is already paying off. Users have downloaded more than 350,000 textbooks in three days, according to Global Equities Research.
Furthermore, some 90,000 users downloaded the company’s ebook authoring software, iBooks Author.
Apple launched the “Textbook” category in its iBooks app on Thursday, initially offering two textbooks from partners McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, priced at $14.99 or less.
Apple’s ambitions, however, go far beyond these two books. With iBooks Author it aims to make it easy for everyone to create an ebook or a textbook containing not only text but also rich multimedia and 3D content. With its textbook initiative and partnerships with key publishers, Apple plans to make the iPad a primary education tool and corner the textbook market.
Apple hasn’t revealed any official numbers yet (though it will probably do so soon, especially if the numbers are big), and we don’t know the methodology behind Global Equities Research’s data, so take these figures with a grain of salt.
If the numbers are close to reality, though, it’s a good sign for Apple’s textbook business. Digital textbooks are cheaper to produce than paper ones, and have many additional benefits. If Apple manages to populate classrooms with iPads – some 1.5 million are already in use in schools, the company says – it might permanently change the face of education and earn some fat dollars in the process.
Just like Keynote, iBooks Author comes packed with a variety of different book templates that authors can use as a starting place to design their books.