McGraw Hill Education’s Vineet Madan has suggested that eTextbooks are the next market set for a growth spurt in the digital era. Madan says that the recent launch of the iPad 3 will help drive down the costs of older generation iPads to the point where schools will be able to more easily afford them for pupils.
While there has been huge interest in ebooks in recent months thanks to the new generation of Kindle devices, eTextbooks have been left behind. The main reason for this is that eTextbooks typically demand high processing power because of the need for images, videos and interactive systems. The technology for sophisticated eTextbooks has existed for some time, but prices are only now coming down to the point where they can become affordable for the majority of students.
It remains to be seen whether there’s any room in the market for indie eTextbook publishers. No doubt there are plenty of people who would fancy releasing their own attempts at academic guides, but quality control would obviously be an issue. Still, leading textbook publishers seem to be convinced that 2012 will be the year of the eTextbook, and it looks like Apple and Amazon are going to help them realise their plans.