Jan. 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM ET
Apple's push into digital education emerged with 350,000 textbooks downloaded within the first three days of its iBooks 2 textbook store debut.
Using information from Apple trackers Global Equities Research, AllThingsD shows what appears to be an early indication of success in the company's latest initiative.
As msnbc.com reported last week, Apple's Jan. 19 education event unveiled iBooks 2, which sells digital textbooks from top educational publishers such as Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, priced at $15 or less. Apple also gave educators two more tools: the ability to make their own textbooks (iBooks Author) and a revamped iTunes U app that gives them the means to use the iPad to post office hours, stream lectures and list assignments.
Global Equities Research found that 90,000 downloads of iBooks Author were made as well in the same time period.
The information comes via Analyst Trip Chowdhry, who had, prior to the Jan. 19 announcement, predicted Apple "may capture 95 percent of digital textbook market, while Amazon.com may only participate in 5 percent of the market," due to Apple's "very strong following" with all the key players in the textbook publishing industry: authors, publishers, faculty and students. (Many who've attended college since the late 1980s have already been indoctrinated into Apple's world through school bookstores.)
Chowdhry is so bullish on Apple's potential in this niche that over the next 5 years, he expects digital textbooks could make up $4.9 billion of iTunes revenues.
More than 1.5 million iPads are now being used in education, with access to 20,000 education apps on the iPad. But as we've mentioned, U.S. Census statistics show that is a small dent, as there are well over 57 million enrolled students between the ages of 5 and 19 in the U.S., as well as countless other college and pre-school students, not to mention teachers and parents.