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Apple slates education announcements for Jan. 19

Media event invites point to iBooks, iTunes U revelations

January 11, 2012 02:48 PM ET

Computerworld - Apple on Wednesday issued invitations to the media for a New York City event next week that will focus on education.

The invitation, which reads "Join us for an education announcement in the Big Apple," touts an event scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on Jan. 19. It will take place at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, on Fifth Ave., just east of Central Park.

Rumors of an Apple media event this month have circulated since last week, with the speculation centered on one or more announcements related to its iBooks platform.

Other Web sites, including MacRumors, said that their sources had pegged the event to an expansion of Apple's efforts in digital textbooks.

Clayton Morris, who co-anchors the Fox & Friends Weekend program on Fox News, claimed that the event would involve iTunes U, the iTunes-based online education platform where institutions ranging from MIT and Stanford to UC Berkeley and Texas A&M post course materials and video lectures.

Apple's mention of education in the invitation seems to bolster that theory.

Last week, one analyst predicted that Apple would use the event to unveil new partnerships with publishers, and to show off a revamped front end to its iBooks book-selling platform, which is limited to iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad.

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, based his conjecture in part on the reports that Apple would hold the media event in New York, which remains the center of U.S. publishing.

In an interview Jan. 3, Kerravala said he expected Apple to refresh the iBooks app on iOS, and offer Mac users the ability to read books on those machines via synchronization through the company's iCloud service.

Although iCloud currently syncs book purchases to multiple iOS devices, it does not offer that capability on Macs.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at Twitter @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed Keizer RSS. His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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