If you thought there would be little interest in an Apple event that didn’t include new hardware, think again. Following the unveiling of iBooks 2 with support for textbooks last week, Apple saw an incredible 350,000 textbook downloads in just three days of availability.
That’s according to Global Equities Research, which uses a tracking system to monitor Apple’s iBook sales. The company has also revealed that iBooks Author, Apple’s new tool for OS X Lion that allows aspiring authors to create their own iBooks, was downloaded 90,000 times from the Mac App Store.
While the new initiative is yet to be tried and tested by schools and students, these figures (if accurate) would suggest iBooks 2 and digital textbooks are off to a flying start. That’s terrific news for textbooks publishers, who are set to make more money through digital sales than they currently do through physical retail channels, according to an All Things D report:
According to Global Equities Research, the supply chain markup on textbooks ranges between 33 percent and 35 percent. So there’s savings to be had in cutting out that publisher to distributor to wholesaler to retailer process.
Add to this the lower cost of iBook production, which the research outfit estimates to be 80 percent less than print publication, and a system under which textbooks are sold directly to students who use them for a year, rather than to schools which keep the texts for an average of five years, and the math here starts to looks pretty good.
Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with GER, believes that this is “a recipe for Apple’s success in the textbook industry.”
[via All Things D]