Apple is reportedly in talks with textbook manufacturers McGraw-Hill and Hachette, over bringing their products to the tablet. The plan is apparently to get electronic books and digital learning materials onto the device, as many have commented on the tablet’s potential as an education device.
As useful as I think this would be for students, again I must voice my displeasure at the potential repercussions of allowing the textbook manufacturers sole control over their content. Textbooks are notoriously expensive, and new additions are often forced into the marketplace with only minor changes in content or addenda. Often times the only way broke students have managed to bypass these ludicrous expenses, is to buy second hand. If the only way to get the content onto your tablet is from the official publisher, then no resale market. You have to pay the list price, ever time. Some publishers are even talking about putting time limits on digital textbooks, so you don’t even get to keep them after the course is over, a plan I find particularly odious.