NEW YORK, Jan 19 - Apple Inc took a big jump into the digital textbooks market with the launch of its iBooks 2 software on Thursday, aiming to revitalize the U.S. education market.
The early plan is to enable students to buy their books directly through Apple rather than through their school districts. The books in the pilot launch are priced at $14.99 each on the iPad, with a range of interactive features.
McGraw confirmed that Apple would take a cut of each sale, believed to be its standard amount of some 30 percent. He said he was "very relaxed" about having to share his profits with Apple, as printing and distributing textbooks accounts for about 25 percent of their cover prices.
Apple also unveiled iBooks Author, a new free application available on the Mac App Store which enables anyone to create a book. It also re-introduced its iTunes U service as a standalone app, with up to 100 complete university online courses from colleges including Yale and Duke.