The goal is to sell more iPads to schools, not to destroy the textbook industry
"This whole event is being blown out of proportion."
Case in point: The 20 headlines that topped Techmeme's news aggregator Tuesday morning, most of them lifting details from Chris Foresman's article in Monday's Ars Technica: Apple to announce tools, platform to "digitally destroy" textbook publishing.
According to Foresman, Apple is set to unveil "a GarageBand for e-books," which he describes as "a simple app that makes the process [of creating interactive textbooks] as easy as creating a song in GarageBand."
Foresman's main source, quoted half a dozen times in his piece, is Matt MacInnis, CEO of a digital textbook company called Inkling that has developed more than 100 titles for the iPad.
We interviewed MacInnis over the weekend, and as near as we can tell, Foresman -- and the 18 other reporters who followed his lead -- got it wrong.
"Apple is not trying to kill the incumbents," MacInnis told us. "They've learned their lesson from upending the music industry."
He told Foresman the same thing, although it doesn't seem to have registered: (quoting from Ars Technica)
"Practically speaking, Apple does not want to get into the content publishing business," MacInnis said. Like the music and movie industries, Apple has instead built a distribution platform as well as hardware to consume it—but Apple isn't a record label or production studio.
MacInnis also mentioned GarageBand in our interview. But what he was describing was a sample iPad textbook, produced in-house and packed with pedagogical bells and whistles, that would serve as a reference design for textbook publishers, much in the way GarageBand for the iPad showed iOS developers what the new platform could do.
MacInnis does expect Apple to unveil new tools for creating iPad textbooks, along with a new content repository to make e-textbooks easily available to teachers. But the tools are not a "GarageBand for e-books." And according to MacInnis, they're designed to support the textbook industry, not to do an end-run around it.
Waiting in the queue for Apple's latest hot gadget is a cold hard way to earn some cash
[UPDATE: The No. 1 spot changed hands Friday morning for $900. See below.]
Six hardy souls were huddled under red and black umbrellas in front of the big glass cube of Apple's (AAPL) Fifth Avenue retail store at 5 p.m. Thursday night -- 24 hours before the iPad 2 was scheduled to go on MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 11, 2011 9:45 AM ET
Every great Apple product needs an app that shows off its unique features
The 1984 Macintosh had MacPaint. The 2007 iPhone had visual voicemail and Google Maps. The iPhone 4 had FaceTime.
Steve Jobs offered two tent-pole demos last week when he introduced the iPad 2. iMovie was cool, but GarageBand for the iPad is Apple's (AAPL) new must-have app.
According to a press release issued Thursday, the $4.99 program will be available MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 10, 2011 11:33 AM ET
Today Apple launched its long-awaited Mac App Store, a desktop version of the popular marketplace that iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad owners already use to download mobile apps.
To access the new App Store, Mac desktop users need to download Mac OS X update 10.6.6. Afterwards, the App store icon appears in your dock, and once you enter and browse, they'll find it works similarly to the iOS app store, asking MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jan 6, 2011 6:10 PM ET
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