Apple are well-known for their cart-before-horse tactics; they will release a gadget and everyone will be wondering, what else can this gadget do apart from ABC. That is what happened to the iPhone before the App Store was launched. Before the App Store, the iPhone was just another smart phone, after the App Store, the iPhone is now a tool that has innumerable uses. This is the feeling going around with the iPad as Apple pumps more and more iPads into the market. There is an underlying feeling that there is more to the iPad than perhaps Apple are letting on.
This anticipation may be satisfied somewhat come Thursday when Apple make their big education announcement at the Guggenheim Museum. Many pundits who have been tracking iPad sales have noted that a lot of those gadgets have been targeted at education institutions with many thinking this counter-intuitive owing to the absence of any significant education material for the iPad. But this may all change on Thursday as Apple are expected to announce partnerships with major textbook makers and unveil a raft of digital textbooks for the American education sector.
Of course the big concern is what this announcement, if it be so, will mean for the textbook market that is mostly dominated by hard copy textbooks and recycling in education institutions. The print industry has also been taking a beating from cheaper and faster-to-deploy ebooks and a consummate confusion of whether to ditch the print books altogether and embrace digital printing or to stick to their guns and try to wrest more control from the lords of digital selling such as Amazon and now Apple. One thing is certain though, if Apple jump into the textbook space, there will be a lot of shaking up going on as it may mean the age of the print textbooks may be coming to a close.