Monday, January 23, 2012

"History Won’t be Kind to Apple & Textbooks"

History Won’t be Kind to Apple & Textbooks, article.

When Phil Schiller came on stage last Thursday, he was a serious man. He said, “Education is deep in our DNA.” His somber and thoughtful approach suggested that Apple intended to make things different and better in education. Apple is in a position to call some shots in the industry, and that kind of power should not be taken lightly. Mr. Schiller behaved, on stage, in accordance with shouldering that burden.
Only later did we find out that it was going to be the same old line; Apple gets its not inconsiderable piece of the action, 30 percent. And, as we know, the lock in with iBooks Author to the iBookstore.

I kind of agree. Apple could make a huge difference in education with the news software et al. But loosening up the licence and easing off significantly on the profit cut (especially when they set a price limit of $15 for everything) would look much better and be much more in accordance in the strong "we want to help" vibes.

"Here's some free software to help children, please give us 10% if you sell through our store" sounds better than "Here's some free software to help the children, you're not allowed to charge for your books outside our store, and inside we'll take 30% and we will ooooowwwn the textbook market in five years, bwaah-haaahaahhh!"

Heck they could even charge for the software if people want to sell outside the iBook store, I'm sure nobody would mind that. But the thirty percent always sounded pretty high to me, and for economically priced textbooks it's just squeezing the lemon too hard.


Stephen A said...

2 Salient links

Asimov had it right

Apple is doing a pure rent extraction play

This is very bad news in that Apple does good work when they are innovating into a new market but becomes a reactionary mess when they shift to rent extraction.

Sony has followed the same path since the death of it's founders.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thank you. I'll V them out.