Apple e-textbooks downloaded 350K times in 3 days

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.

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hmmm, it's showing as an update, so it;s not the same as people actively choosing to download a new app?

Or do they mean the iTune U app?

wotsit said,
hmmm, it's showing as an update, so it;s not the same as people actively choosing to download a new app?

Or do they mean the iTune U app?


It's not about iBooks 2.
It's about the newly added content in the iBook Store that requires iBooks 2.

They didn't count the updaters to iB2, but the downloads of textbooks that are new to iBooks.

GS:mac

I already bought $15 textbooks when I was in college. If the syllabus says to get the 4th edition, go buy the 3rd for pennies on the dollar.

Enron said,
I already bought $15 textbooks when I was in college. If the syllabus says to get the 4th edition, go buy the 3rd for pennies on the dollar.

Not ALWAYS a good idea to move past the required edition for couple of bucks.

Mostly, yes, and teachers will tell you it probably doesn't matter, but there are books out there that get more than a few logic or typo fixes from edition to edition.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

Not ALWAYS a good idea to move past the required edition for couple of bucks.

Mostly, yes, and teachers will tell you it probably doesn't matter, but there are books out there that get more than a few logic or typo fixes from edition to edition.

I agree, except sometimes within science or technology fields where things may change faster than the instructor can keep up to date with. Generally though, if a teacher says the old revision is as good or better than the current, they are likely being honest and true. The difference between textbook revisions can be so arbitrary and pointless that it boggles everyone's mind.

You do have to keep a more open mind when told the old revision needs to be avoided. This may not be true, and may do you an injustice. Any student inexperienced in the field they are taking classes in though really has to trust that the teacher is telling them the truth and go with it, or they may do their education a disservice.

This subject in fact is much worse for K-12 right now, because Texas is literally corrupting accepted scientific and historical fact in cases and replacing parts of it with falsities. California is no longer just accepting the textbooks decisions being made there for most of the country. I suspect the issue in K-12 is far more insidious than the textbook industry at large is to the future health of our nation.

Kaedrin said,

I agree, except sometimes within science or technology fields where things may change faster than the instructor can keep up to date with. Generally though, if a teacher says the old revision is as good or better than the current, they are likely being honest and true. The difference between textbook revisions can be so arbitrary and pointless that it boggles everyone's mind.

You do have to keep a more open mind when told the old revision needs to be avoided. This may not be true, and may do you an injustice. Any student inexperienced in the field they are taking classes in though really has to trust that the teacher is telling them the truth and go with it, or they may do their education a disservice.

This subject in fact is much worse for K-12 right now, because Texas is literally corrupting accepted scientific and historical fact in cases and replacing parts of it with falsities. California is no longer just accepting the textbooks decisions being made there for most of the country. I suspect the issue in K-12 is far more insidious than the textbook industry at large is to the future health of our nation.

Well said, I agree.

GS:mac

I think these E-textbooks are a terrible idea. It will do nothing but take money out of the already underfunded colleges and universities, and pad apples already deep pockets. And while $15 a textbook sounds great, the schools will have to increase tuition to compensate, leaving me to pay the same amount, if not more in the end. Only apple will profit from this situation, yet they act as if they're doing everyone a favor.

JBElemental said,
I think these E-textbooks are a terrible idea. It will do nothing but take money out of the already underfunded colleges and universities, and pad apples already deep pockets. And while $15 a textbook sounds great, the schools will have to increase tuition to compensate, leaving me to pay the same amount, if not more in the end. Only apple will profit from this situation, yet they act as if they're doing everyone a favor.

Nobody is forcing you to buy the $15 textbooks. Continue buying your overpriced physical copies. The market will decide if this is any good, and I suspect they'll decide against your opinion

JBElemental said,
I think these E-textbooks are a terrible idea. It will do nothing but take money out of the already underfunded colleges and universities, and pad apples already deep pockets. And while $15 a textbook sounds great, the schools will have to increase tuition to compensate, leaving me to pay the same amount, if not more in the end. Only apple will profit from this situation, yet they act as if they're doing everyone a favor.

You mean the money they make through collusion with the book companies to print overpriced textbooks every year and kill the used book market? You mean that income?

What reason is there to reprint an Algebra book every year? It isn't like there is anything new to keep up with. I can see updating medical books frequently because there are always new discoveries, but Math, English, Basic Science, Geology, etc... Those subjects just do not change often enough to require a yearly update.

There is one reason for an update... "Money"! Schools get to overcharge for the books because they are the only source of the new book.

kirkdickinson said,

You mean the money they make through collusion with the book companies to print overpriced textbooks every year and kill the used book market? You mean that income?

There is one reason for an update... "Money"! Schools get to overcharge for the books because they are the only source of the new book.

http://firststreet.cqpress.com/content/Publishing.aspx

Depending on your state/country, you may be entirely off base here. A lot of teachers are forced into using new revisions over a certain period of time rather than using out of date books, even if those books are factually, mathematically, or scientifically incorrect vs earlier revisions. When talking about sciences, it depends on the subject covered as new discoveries or advances may considerably alter the usefulness of the current textbooks.

I'll tell you that in general from working around faculty within the educational sector, a large number of them do not want to change books and modify curriculum when not required because then there is actual work they need to do. In education, some faculty rot on their laurels, and some are incredibly pro-active in keeping personally up to date and reflecting that in their courses. I guarantee most people like to be lazy where they can, so by proxy most teachers do not benefit from constantly changing textbooks as it requires them to spend time working on something they wanted to leave unchanged for the next 15 years. As such, you'll find that many teachers actually think that change is evil and everything new is to be avoided, regardless of the field they are teaching. I see it even in technology fields, where almost constant yearly changes is just part of life, and they damn well knew it before they started teaching, yet try to ignore changes in their field all the same. In fact, when you encounter faculty who vehemently hate change, well that's probably tenure working in a way it never should have been allowed to work.

So, depending on the discipline, the country, and the region, you may encounter different regulations that force educational facilities to update to new books over a period of time even if the revisions are worse than what came before. The textbook industry receives far more profit from revisions than a school does. If anything school bookstores make a real profit from book buybacks and resale -new book releases, particularly if a bookstore has already bought back books that they suddenly can no longer sell, harms the college. In general, your school doesn't want to upgrade a book as they will lose money overall

Anyway, my point of all of this yapping, is much of the blame for the way things are is strictly due to the textbook industry who will use money to lobby your government to help create and then reinforce a cycle of profit. Faculty will be more responsible for the other end of the spectrum: outdated books and methods which are not retired, but should have been years ago.

(Note, anything I've said only refers to higher education, not K-12. I have no professional experence in that sector.)

Nice stats, but how many were curious? I do hope they start a trend for lower text book prices, my wifes books for her masters make me cry.

zeke009 said,
Nice stats, but how many were curious? I do hope they start a trend for lower text book prices, my wifes books for her masters make me cry.

That's where I see them being onto something here.

I'm curious how things will develop and I'm one of those 350k, yet have to download it to my iPhone from iTunes though.

I like the idea and concept, but I guess note taking truly isn't as comfy... Idk, I'll see.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,
I like the idea and concept, but I guess note taking truly isn't as comfy... Idk, I'll see.

GS:mac


Don't forget about Siri.

zeke009 said,
Nice stats, but how many were curious? I do hope they start a trend for lower text book prices, my wifes books for her masters make me cry.

That won't happen since Apple's greedy business practices want a 30% cut from every textbook sale.

meh, I downloaded iBooks 2, and a free e text book just to get the feel of it. Probably won't do it again. Still not quick enough for my college class. I need to write in my stuff baby.

The point I'm making is, I was one of those 350k, but not really... get it?