Apple Reveals Digital Textbook Service

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) just revealed their new digital textbook service called iBooks 2. The new service will be offered as a free app on the iPad. High school textbooks will be $14.99 or less, and will have all levels of books.

Apple is currently working on digital textbooks with publishers Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), McGraw-Hill (NYSE:MHP) and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who are make 90 percent of textbooks sold in the United States. At the event, Apple showed off tools to create digital textbooks and presented how authors and teachers can create books.

Marketing Chief Phil Schiller said it was time to reinvent the textbook and that there are already 1.5 million iPads in education now. “It’s hard not to see that the textbook is not always the ideal learning tool,” he said. “It’s a bit cumbersome.”

Schiller also said teachers need help and Apple wants to do its part. “In general, education is in the dark ages,” he said, and education has challenges that are “pretty profound.”

Here’s how Apple shares are reacting to the launch:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $428.94, down $0.17, or 0.04%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $429.47. Volume today was 5,367,572 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 13,314,900 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 15.50, while trailing earnings are $27.68 per share.