The market research firm Global Equities Research released some surprising figures this morning. It looks like Apple’s new textbook platform is off to a good start.
Global Equities hasn’t disclosed how they know, but according to their data Apple has seen more than 350,000 digital textbooks downloaded since Thursday’s announcement. What’s even better was that iBooks Author, Apple’s new proprietary eBook making app, was itself downloaded some 90 thousand times.
These numbers look great, yes, but they are the silver lining in a very gray cloud. While Global Equities Research was tracking the downloads, everyone else was digging up its shortcomings. For example, iBooks Author has a rather extreme license agreement. If you use it to make a digital textbook, you have agreed to give Apple complete control over it. You cannot sell it outside of iBooks, and you cannot sell it in iBooks without Apple’s approval. Of course, selling it in iBooks assumes that Apple will even allow you to. This option is closed off for most of the world, including all of Africa, most of Asia, and large part of South America. A majority of the world’s population is excluded, and that would generally render any benefit moot.