Apple's e-textbooks, launched alongside iBooks 2 on January 19, have already been downloaded more than 350,000 times. And more than 90,000 users have downloaded iBooks Author, the authoring tool used to make the e-textbooks, as reported by AllThingsD.
These numbers are quite impressive considering Apple only revealed and introduced the iPad-exclusive iBooks 2 and Textbook category on its iBookstore just three days ago, and that the new store launched with a mere eight textbooks. Of course, one of those textbooks was the free E.O. Wilson's Life on Earth, which is probably responsible for a good chunk of the download figures.
The data comes from Global Equities Research, a Redwood Shores, California research firm that measures Apple iBook sales through its own proprietary tracking service. Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research, said, "[This is] a recipe for Apple's success in the textbook industry."
Before his death, Steve Jobs told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he hoped to transform the textbook market. Jobs saw the iPad as a solution to the heavy backpacks lugged around by kids, and a way to circumvent the process of state certification of textbooks, which he called corrupt. His vision was to free textbooks from that process and in the end, save money for schools and students.