Apple January Event to Focus on iTunes University, Education, and Textbooks?

With rumours swirling regarding Apple’s upcoming media event this month in New York City, further information has surfaced about what could be detailed at this event by Clayton Morris from Fox News:

  • This event will focus on iTunes University and Apple in education
  • I learned of the event back in September when it was originally scheduled for late Fall in New York but it was eventually postponed.
  • The event will be in New York rather than in the Silicon Valley because New York is more centrally located for textbook and publishing.
  • This initiative has been in the making for years.
  • The announcement will be small in size but large in scope: a big announcement in a demure space.
  • I expect at least two large project announcements as they relate to Apple in education.
  • Steve Jobs was intinimately involved with this project before his passing. He gave a hat tip to the textbook side of this project in the Isaacson biography.
  • This will not be a hardware-related announcement.
Walter Isaacson writes in the Steve Jobs biography that Jobs felt the $8 billion annual text book industry was ‘ripe for digital destruction’, and that heavy textbooks could be solved by the iPad. Digital version of textbooks would be a ‘feature of the iPad’ and Jobs even met with major publishers such as Pearson Education about a partnership. Here’s what Jobs said to Isaacson about his vision of the textbook industry:
“The process by which states certify textbooks is corrupt,” he said. “But if we can make the textbooks free, and them come with the iPad, then they don’t have to be certified. The crappy economy at the state level will last for a decade, and we can give them an opportunity to circumvent that whole process and save money.”
Text books definitely have remained untouched by the digital wave–could Apple and the iPad change that?