Last month, Apple announced iBooks 2.0 for the iPad, where users could avail of digital textbooks for far cheaper than purchasing hard copies. Now Samsung Electronics plans to get in the game and take on Apple in the digital textbook and education market. According toThe Chosunilbo, Samsung is getting set to reveal what they’re calling the “Learning Hub” at Mobile World Congress 2012, next week in Barcelona. The Learning Hub will be a learning platform, which will provide educational content for tablets. The content will include videos of lectures. Samsung says the aim of the platform is to replace paper textbooks in the classroom. A Samsung executive said, “We’re going to launch the service in Korea late this month and then go global after April.” The executive continued on to say that Samsung are consulting with major foreign educational content developers for potential collaboration.
iBooks 2 for the iPad allows users to buy textbooks for a maximum of $14.99 (approx Rs.734) a pop, which is about 80 percent cheaper than how much the average paper textbook costs in the U.S. Furthermore, users of the textbooks have access to interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos and advanced navigation. Users also have access to iTunes U, which provides iPad users with free educational content from around the world as well as 20,000 educational applications and hundreds of thousands of books in the iBooks store. Apple has partnered with education services companies, including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson to deliver titles to the iBooks store. Of course, the advantage Samsung will have over Apple in the educational sphere is the variety of devices that users will have access to the Learning Hub. Apple has the iPad, which can be more expensive for students, than some of Samsung’s tablets.
Samsung has been reported to already secure 6,000 free and paid learning units. This has been done in collaboration with 30 domestic and international education companies. Those who already have Samsung Galaxy Tab devices can download these education units with the free Learning Hub application.