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Apple taps iWork VP for e-textbook service

updated 07:25 pm EST, Tue January 17, 2012

Apple uses iWork lead Roger Rosner for textbooks

Apple's digital textbook creation system is relying on the manager of its iWork suite, slips uncovered on Tuesday. Productivity app VP Roger Rosner was said by the Wall Street Journal to be "closely involved" in crafting the system. His involvement would reflect the creative nature of the unveiling, which would let publishers and schools themselves easily create their own textbooks.

The strategy being driven by Rosner would be part of efforts from the late Steve Jobs to remake the textbook industry. He saw it as burdened by traditional publishing, where large companies and state certification terms bogged the titles down. Letting schools and other smaller outlets quickly create their own content could democratize it and lower the price of the textbooks, even if it requires an iPad or iPod to read.

Insiders have been careful to tone down expectations that, among some, have suggested some kind of revolution. The step could still make Apple a unique option for educational publishing where Amazon and others have usually kept to the traditional publishing model. Apple is virtually unopposed in tablets among educators, but those wanting a regular textbook system have had to either write their own apps or borrow someone else's, such as Kno.

The general public could benefit from the switch as Apple might go to the modern ePub 3 standard and improve interoperability between platforms.

by MacNN Staff



  1. cashxx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hope something happens.....

    I hope the prices come down on the books. No reason for the books to cost so much, I have two friends going back to school and the books are hundreds of dollars a piece and no reason for it. Education system is a racket and a monopoly. The price of going back to school and people going to school and majoring in something stupid and not having a job afterwards is ridiculous. These stupid courses shouldn't even be offered. To major in anything you have school loans for years and years.

  1. chas_m



    To be fair ...

    One really *should* try to get more out of going to school than just "getting a job." One of the biggest problems in America right now is that schools in particular and society in general have decided that just "getting a job" (ie the basic skills needed to work somewhere better than McDonald's) should be the priority for schools.

    In fact, that is NOT the job of a school at at all (or shouldn't be). Elementary school should teach basic fundamentals, but beyond that schools should be focused on teaching kids HOW TO THINK, HOW TO REASON. Give them those skills, and they'll be able to do anything they want -- including get a good job.

    THAT is where schools (particularly colleges) are failing the nation (and have been for 30 years or more).

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I hope it also works well for Indie publishers. Pages is great for straight up text, but I'm currently working on converting the novel I wrote into a graphic novel, and having the ability to have the bulk of the space be taken up by an image but also to have real text would be great. It would also be awesome if it could be done in a program that doesn't cost an arm and a leg!

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