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Before the official release of the Steve Jobs biography, one of the leaked sections in the book revealed that Jobs was weighing the next industries for Apple to disrupt. The textbook industry was apparently one of his targets. That's hardly surprising since the iPad has helped usher in an explosion of e-reading apps and digital study tools.

It's also not surprising since Apple already successfully challenged the way in which records were bought and sold, moving us away from having to shell out cash for an entire album and letting us buy just the singles we like. Why spend $14.99 on a CD that only has 3 songs you like? You can just buy those on iTunes for $.99 apiece. That new business model seems like one that can be readily adapted to textbooks. After all, unlike other genres of literature or types of book, the textbook is often less about the "whole album" and more about the individual songs (or chapters at least). Why spend $149.99 on a Biology textbook that only has 3 chapters you need?

Read the rest of the story at Inside Higher Ed.

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Audrey Watters


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