The Apple (AAPL) iPhone App store already has over 60,000 products and one billion downloads. It is about to get a new set of products that should do especially well. iPhone users will be able to download up to 7,000 different textbooks onto their handsets, making "education everywhere" a reality.
The program should be a success, but it faces a major hurdle. Many iPhone users are young, making them a better-than-average market for college and graduate school books. But that is not enough. The iPhone App store is so huge and there is so much competition for visibility on the service that getting noticed with a new service is nearly impossible.
The e-textbook application may be nearly perfect for the iPhone crowd, but unless CourseSmart is willing to spend a lot of money, who will ever know about it?
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.