Steve Jobs Wanted the iPad to Transform the Textbook Business

On Monday, Walter Isaacson’s highly anticipated official biography of Steve Jobs will be released to the public, and from the endless tidbits we’ve received from people who got an advanced copy, the book is going to be a good one.

Steve Jobs had a hand in revolutionizing smartphones, tablets, laptops, animated movies, and digital music, but he wasn’t done there. A new section of his biography reveals that he was also working on a rather unusual project: transforming the school system through textbooks.

Jobs reportedly held several meetings with various textbook publishers about working with Apple on producing digital textbooks. He wanted to give away textbooks for free on the iPad, something that would have allowed publishers to get around state certifications.

Isaacson says that Jobs believed states would struggle with a weak economy for at least a decade. “We can give them an opportunity to circumvent that whole process and save money,” he told Isaacson. The textbook industry is an $8 billion a year industry, and Jobs wanted to hire great textbook writers and create digital versions that would be integrated into the iPad.

While Jobs did not manage to revolutionize textbooks in his lifetime, it’s still a market that Apple could potentially get involved in. It seems like a logical step for a company that’s already selling both books and magazines. Would you prefer textbooks on the iPad? I know I would.

Steve Jobs’ biography will be available tomorrow, and it will reveal an entire side of the notoriously private man. It’s currently the best selling pre-order on Amazon. Will you be reading the book, possibly the number one biography of our time? Let us know in the comments.

[via The New York Times]

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  • BK

    I currently use textbooks on my ipad and its the best thing in the world!!