Textbooks on iPhone? CourseSmart has 7,000

Wall Street Journal broke the news that CourseSmart LLC is bringing its subscription service with 7,000+ textbooks to the iPhone.

Just last week Amazon agreed to terms with McGraw Hill and added 100+ textbooks to the Kindle Store. Well, CourseSmart certainly dwarfed that number. 

Wonder how useful this really is – perhaps its just a precursor to when Apple has its 10″ iNetbook out.

CourseSmart LLC?

Well, it turns out that CourseSmart LLC is rather interesting –

CourseSmart was created in 2007 as a joint venture of six higher-education publishers, including McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson PLC’s Pearson Education

The details on how CourseSmart works –

  1. Its a subscription model that rents out textbooks.
  2. Its for just 180 days and then students lose access. 
  3. The price is 50% of the physical textbook price.

And what the iPhone version of CourseSmart textbooks lets you do –

  1. Access your textbook.
  2. Read your notes. 
  3. Search for terms.

Digging Deeper into CourseSmart LLC

This isn’t the only recent development. On 23rd July, CourseSmart added 7 new publishers

  • Elsevier Science and Technology: Life and Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, Engineering, Computer Science, Media Technology, Finance, Business and Hospitality
  • F.A. Davis: Nursing and Health Professions
  • Jones & Bartlett: Biology; Health, Fitness and Wellness; Criminology, Nursing and Computer Science
  • SAGE: Education, Psychology, Statistics, Sociology and Criminology
  • Sinauer Associates: Biology, Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Taylor & Francis: Humanities & Social Sciences, Life Science, Business, Psychology, Mental Health and Computer Science
  • Wolters Kluwer Health (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins): Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions
  • Also, an article in the Missouran points out that students at more than 5,000 colleges have bought textbooks via CourseSmart – that’s a minor miracle considering you pay 50% of the price and just get a digital rental for 180 days.

    They also said their sales were up 600% from last year.

    CourseSmart on the Kindle?

    Apparently the companies haven’t even talked. You’d think they would since Amazon has agreements with the major textbook publishers that co-founded CourseSmart i.e. Pearson, Cengage, McGraw Hill, etc.  

    The CourseSmart CEO did say that they would bring textbooks to whatever devices students asked for. Hopefully that means we soon see 7,000+ textbooks on the Kindle.

    Oh, also … the countdown to the first review that says reading textbooks is better on the iPhone than on the Kindle DX begins now. 😉 (bonus points if they manage to mention the ephemeral beauty of reading a text that expires in 180 days).

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