Digital Textbooks the Apple Way–the “right” way?

I have many thoughts on digital textbooks, and you have all had an opportunity to read them here.   Apple has made their “big move” and I am both pleased to see digital moving forward, and also a bit concerned about what could become the “only” platform on campuses.

I actually presented a paper on the challenges of digital textbook pricing at the Western DSI (Decision Sciences Institute) conference in 2011.   You can read the paper here.  In that paper, I point out that by driving the logistics costs of moving, handling, and returning paper products out of the system, along with other costs such as maintaining a bookstore, one can drive the costs down to about (surprise!) $15.00 while maintaining the 2 year profits of the publisher. And by withdrawing the pressures of the resale market, the profits only go up from there.

First thoughts that led to that paper were written about here  and here.

Most recently I wrote about  consumer driven markets. Who should make the  choice? Digital textbooks are able separate the content from the medium, and allow flexibility–unless we are locked into a hardware platform.  I also wrote about this in this post.

I would welcome other thoughts on those posts and on the paper.


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