Apple Plans Education Announcement, Are iPad Textbooks Coming Soon?

Earlier this week, we told you about's predictions for the growth of digital textbooks. It appears Apple agrees there is a big future in digital textbook sales. According to various reports, Apple is planning to reveal a new product at a press conference this Thursday that will change the way students use textbooks.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Apple's plans to reveal a new digital textbook product on Thursday and has cited unnamed sources familiar with the plans. This product is expected to give publishers a platform where they can create educational materials optimized for Apple's iPad tablet. The announcement is also expected to include information about partnerships with some of the well-known publishing companies such as McGraw-Hill.

Walter Isaacsson’s authorized biography of Steve Jobs gave us a hint that such a product could be in the works: In the biography, Isaacsson says Jobs had met with a number of publishers and believed all textbooks should be digital and interactive. Given Apple's stronghold in the tablet market, the move into digital textbooks makes sense as it would provide additional revenue for the company.

Of course, Apple isn't the first company to introduce digital textbooks. However, Apple wasn't the first company to introduce portable MP3 players or tablet computers, either, and we all know how successful the iPod and iPad have been.