Ars notes that an e-textbook reader could appeal to both students and professors, both of whom are losing patience with the high prices (and heavy weights) that currently rule the textbook publishing industry. It also has some suggestions for things Amazon might want to keep in mind if to make an eduKindle a success:
Continued price drops for e-books will help, as they’ll be more attractive to students who currently resell their used textbooks at the end of each semester. A large inventory of textbooks will also help (there’s no use in getting a Kindle for textbooks if you can only get one or two books on it), and the addition of student-friendly features (such as the ability to make annotations) would round out the list of things that would make such a thing appealing to students. Oh, and a low price would help too.
Certainly an educational Kindle model could be beneficial all around—not only to students, but to people who need larger print to read and find that smaller screens simply cannot show enough of it for their liking. And students will certainly find other uses for their Kindle than just textbook reading—both in spare school time, and after they graduate. (Though it might be a temptation for some to read for leisure in class!)
And if the print publishers consider it to be serious competition, it might also drive print textbook prices down for people who prefer those.
Moderator’s note: Earlier today the quote was accidentally extended and included two extra graphs. That was my fault—because of the way it displayed on my system when I was doing format tweaks—rather than Chris Meadows’. – D.R.