By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
January 11, 2012

Returns to the venue where Rupert Murdoch launched The Daily on the iPad

Eddy Cue, Apple’s (AAPL) senior vice president for Internet software and services, is reported to be in charge of the much-touted special event scheduled for the morning of Jan. 19 in New York City. The wording of the blackboard-like invitation sent to reporters Wednesday — “Join us for an education announcement in the Big Apple” — suggests that this could be related to one of the three projects Steve Jobs was working on at the end of his life: iPhone photography, integrated television and textbooks.

“He wanted to disrupt the textbook industry,” wrote his biographer, Walter Isaacson, in Steve Jobs, “and save the spines of spavined students bearing backpacks by creating electronic texts and curriculum material for the iPad.”

Apple-commissioned texts, offered free or below cost to schools, would be one way to get around the conservative-minded school book committees in states like Texas that wield so much control over the content of textbooks nationwide.

Apple executives must hope this event in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s basement auditorium works out better than the last one Cue attended. He represented the company at the February 2011 launch of Rupert Murdoch’s 
The Daily
, the iPad-only publication that has failed every benchmark for success Murdoch laid down that day. (See here and here.)

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