What does that mean for textbooks? Plenty, some observers say, but no one knows when. CourseSmart
, a publisher of more than 8,800 e-textbooks, already makes an application for the
iPhone and iPod Touch and is reportedly working on software for the iPad. And one option that is already available is iBooks, an application from
Apple that allows users to download e-books straight to their device.
HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, both publishers of trade books,
are already signed on. Some technology Web sites have reported that a
partnership with textbook publisher McGraw-Hill was supposed to
have been included in the presentation, but Apple’s Steve Jobs banned any mention of them after
a McGraw-Hill executive leaked word of the deal on Tuesday
night. Jobs, for his part, mentioned that his company was “very excited” about textbooks, then moved on.