Apple Brings iBooks Textbooks And iTunes U Course Manager To New International Markets

The race for the future of the education market is on, and Apple has increasing competition from device makers and service providers like Samsung and Amazon. Cupertino isn’t slacking, however, and this morning it announced a new expansion of some of its core educational offerings to help it maintain its edge.

Apple’s iBooks Textbooks and iTunes U Course Manager products are being launched in brand new markets in Asia, Latin America, Europe and beyond according to a new press release from Apple, bringing the total number of markets that iBooks Textbooks now reaches to 51, and the total for iTunes U’s Course Manager to 70. Some of the new countries which now have access to the platforms include Brazil, Italy, Japan, Russia, Thailand and Malaysia.

If you’re not familiar with the programs, iBooks Textbooks allows publishes to create interactive, digital-native texts for students that can be accessed using the iBooks app on any Mac or iOS device, while iTunes U Course Manager allows educators to create fully-guided course programs for use with the iTunes U iOS app. The two are tightly integrated, as texts used in iTunes U courses can be made available via iBooks.

Amazon has been aggressively pursuing the education market, introducing new features via Kindle FreeTime for helping kids learn early on late last year. It also introduced Whispercast in 2012 as a distribution method for texts and books for organizations and schools, and added Kindle Fire app deployment to that service last year. Apple’s international reach is still a big advantage for it however, and pushing both these services out to additional markets should help it with the overall race to win the hearts and minds of students everywhere.