Apple Inc. announced in New York on Thursday that it will launch iBooks 2 digital textbook software to bring interactive textbooks to elementary and high school students on the iPads.
The e-textbooks will have embedded video, interactive pictures, as well as features for highlighting texts and creating flash cards, according to Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of product marketing.
"We want to reinvent the textbook," said Schiller during a press event at New York's Guggenheim Museum, adding that more than 20,000 educational apps are already available for the iPad and that more than 1.5 million iPads are already in use in education.
He noted that Apple is now working with publishing partners including Pearson PLC, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to offer digital high school textbooks that will cost 14.99 U.S. dollars or less and can be used with the iPads. The company also revealed iBooks Author, a free app for self- publishing e-books, and improvements to the iTunes U app that puts entire courses online and allows instructors to post syllabi and messages for students.
Figures from Apple Inc. showed that as of September 2011, Apple had sold about 40 million iPads, generating 25.3 billion U.S. dollars in sales. The iPad is Apple's second-best selling product, behind the iPhone and ahead of Mac personal computers and iPod music players.