Apple this past week officially signaled their foray into the world of textbooks, a multi-billion dollar industry that the late Steve Jobs said he was interested in revolutionizing. And with all of the content creation tools Apple showcased last week, not to mention its partnership with the biggest textbook publishers on the planet, Apple may very well be on the cusp of bringing the textbook industry into the digital age in spectacular and game-changing fashion.
One of the publishing giants Apple touted on stage was McGraw-Hill. In the wake of Apple’s announcement, McGraw-Hill CEO Terry McGraw spoke to Peter Kafka of All Things D and explained how Apple’s textbook initiative was all the result of Steve Jobs’ vision.
Peter Kafka: Apple has been talking to publishers about textbooks on the iPads for a couple of years. Why are you doing this now?
Terry McGraw: Sitting and listening to all of this, I wish Steve Jobs was here. I was with him in June this past year, and we were talking about some of the benchmarks, and some of the things that we were trying to do together. He should be here. He probably is [gesturing up and around]. This was his vision, this was his idea, and it all had to do with the iPad.
Kafka: But why do this now, instead of when the iPad came out, back in 2010?
McGraw: We’ve explored every possible way to be in this space, and to make it more accessible, and make it more of a learning platform, rather than just a textbook. So with the textbook now, it’s growing up. Apple has really essentially turbocharged the process, and it’s just going to open up the world of learning to more people. Anything we can do to be a part of that, we’re going to do.
As we’ve mentioned a number of times before, the hardware in both the smartphone and tablet markets will eventually converge with respect to Apple and its growing field of competitors. As a result, what will really help differentiate Apple from the rest of the pack will be software, and with Apple’s textbook initiative in full swing, that’s just one more reason why the iPad remains a better buy than any iPad competitor you can think of.
So when asked about the chances that McGraw-Hill might strike a similar partnership with Google, McGraw explained that they’ll certainly do all that they can, but qualified his answer by stating that Apple has done more “in terms of creating this personalized learning platform than anyone.”
via All Things D