LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Video and color graphics are key to why many people think Apple Inc's iPad and other tablets will usher in the era of electronic textbooks.Analysts say that unlike Amazon.com Inc's Kindle -- briefly touted as an educational tool -- the iPad can play video and illustrate charts and graphics in full color. It also allows for easy note-taking and the online component allows for integrated tests, exercises and updates.
A growing acceptance of digital delivery in the $4.5 billion university textbook market, until now hampered by the lack of a suitable platform, will have major implications for dominant players such as Pearson PLC, privately held Cengage Learning and McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.
Digital textbooks are expected to grow to 4 percent of overall sales this year from under 3 percent, rising to 11 percent by 2013, according to Simba Information.
'SCOURGE' OF PUBLISHERS
At CourseSmart.com, students can download McGraw-Hill's "Macroeconomics, 10th Edition" for $43, versus $107 in print.
One potential benefit for publishers of lower prices is the recovery of sales from the used-book segment. For every two new books sold in U.S. college textbook market, one used book is sold, according to the National Association of College Stores. [snip]
"It is going to be very disruptive" to publishers, said Eric Frank, president of Flat World Knowledge, which offers free texts to 1,300 instructors and their students on the Web.