Apple Could Announce New Distribution Platform for Digital Books
If you are an Apple fanatic like me, then you have probably heard that the company is holding a media event on Thursday, January 19, 2012. What is Apple releasing this time? According to ArsTechnica.com, the company will be announcing a new platform that will be the “GarageBand for e-books.” Basically, it will be a distribution platform for digital books and textbooks.
Although some makers of e-books claim that the process of making an e-book from a physical copy of a book is very simple, the truth is that the entire process can be very difficult and frustrating. This could all be changing very soon, if Apple does in fact announce a “GarageBand for e-books” software later this week.
Matt MacInnis worked for Apple until 2009, when he left the company and started his own company, Inkling, which creates digital textbooks. MacInis thinks that Apple is about to make it much easier to actually create these books.
“When you think about what Apple is doing,” he said. “They are selling tens of thousands of iPads in K-12 institutions. What are they doing with those iPads? They don’t really replace textbooks, because there’s not very much content to offer.”
So, it would make sense for Apple to make more content available to fuel the demand for their iPads in classrooms, right? Well, indirectly, yes.
“Practically speaking, Apple does not want to get into the content publishing business,” MacInnis said. Instead of creating the content, he says that it will be much more beneficial for the technology-guru to create a distribution platform which can be used to distribute the e-books, not to create them.
This makes sense to me. If there were more e-books for students to read on their iPads and iPhones, then students would be more likely to purchase an iPad and the e-book. By creating a distribution platform – like Apple has already done with iTunes and GarageBand for music – the company is ensuring that there will be more digital books available to feed the demand, which is only expected to increase in the future.
According to Dr. William Rankin, an expert on the use of mobile devices in the classroom, 82 percent of students who are pursuing a higher education “come to campus with a smartphone.” Rankin believes that the school he teaches at, Abilene Christian University, is “headed toward a completely digital future.. [and that] we need to have resources and tools ready for these mobile, connected students.”
In only two days, we will find out if Apple is about to announce the creation of these new resources and tools.
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