updated 11:05 pm EDT, Mon March 12, 2012
McGraw sees new iPads sparking edu demand
McGraw Hill Education's new ventures VP Vineet Madan predicted in an interview Monday that the new iPad would have a major effect on digital textbooks. He explained to TPM that the 2048x1536 display and added speed would be a large help for digital textbooks. LTE had its own benefit for those that could justify it, since it would be fast enough to stream intensive content instead of having to store everything locally.
The new iPad would also have a ripple effect: by pushing the price of an iPad 2 down to $399, it was lowering the price of entry, and made it much easier for schools to get iPads that were still very capable.
"I've long thought that the tipping-point price for a tablet is between $200 and $300," Madan said. "Now that the entry-level iPad 2 has dropped by $100... we'll see much more uptake."
He was critical of Android tablets, as they often weren't taking into consideration certain designs. "Some of the Android tablets" didn't have battery life that students could use without having to charge between classes.
Apple has been promoting iBooks 2 and e-textbooks as a way to overhaul education in the US, but many have pointed to price as an issue. Although $499 is inexpensive next to most computers, the cost of outfitting every student in a school with a tablet and keeping it update can be cost-prohibitive for most. A $399 tablet along with Apple's iPad leasing strategy could reduce the overhead.