Apple will introduce a Tablet and Textbook store for iTunes
Prediction for Apple's forthcoming product.
I am privy to no inside info nor do I have contacts that have this information. What I intend to discuss today is the design and ecosystem for Apple's next product introduction.
In retrospect, the iPhone was a brilliant compromise of form and function with technical limitations, but what has cemented its lasting power is the vibrant application store and the developers that support the platform with nifty, innovatiove or just plain obvious functionality.
A new device would have to have a similar design methodology and ideally be supported by such an ecosystem.
I believe the next logical market for the iPod generation is college and the teens who grew up with iPods will be used to consuming media and information in a format as mediated by the iTunes store.
Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster and Michael Olson on Wednesday released the results of their tenth bi-annual teen survey, which showed gains in iPod market share from the spring numbers. Specifically, 74% of the teens who possess an MP3 player said they own some type of iPod[...]
Based on this assumption and the fact that the RESALE market for textbooks allows most students to recoup some of the money spent on textbooks albeit at the expense to the publisher of a lost sale; I believe that Steve Jobs and Apple have negotiated hefty discounts from the publishers on content sold electronically based on the assumption that each student will buy a book and it will not be resellable.
That in itself would be enough to have a winning product, an ebook that eliminates the stack of books required for an education.
The game changer will be, a general purpose computing platform, most likely NOT x86 compatible and a partnership with a VoIP provider such as Skype to allow unlimited domestic calls and sms.
By teaming three such important features, books, applications for any area of education and the always on VoIP and SMS functionality they would have an obvious winner.
I predict that the icing on the cake will be that it will have full media support for itunes songs and movie downloads.
Although a student may need a laptop for some content creation, for class, for notes for reading and studying and for communicating with peers I think the niche that Apple serves with a new tablet will be a real game winner for Apple and establish Apple as the preeminent educational brand.
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