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Apple announces education event in New York City next Thursday, Jan. 19

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Apple on Wednesday sent out invitations for a special event next week on Jan. 19 in New York City, where it has promised an "education announcement in the Big Apple."

The invitation, as shown by The Loop, features a chalkboard-style drawing outlining the skyline of New York. Front and center in the skyline is the Apple logo, while the tagline for the event confirms that the event will involve an education-related announcement.

The media briefing will take place next Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Guggenheim Museum at 10 a.m. Eastern, 7 a.m. Pacific. Previous rumors suggested Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue will play a part in the demonstration, which will not show off any new hardware like an anticipated third-generation iPad or rumored Apple television.

Instead, the event is expected to focus on enhancements to the iBooks platform with respect to education and digital textbook publishing. Rumors have suggested the event will highlight iTunes U, a free service Apple provides that gives access to educational content, and other education-oriented topics.

Apple launched its iBooks platform in 2010 with the debut of the iPad. Its digital bookstore eventually made its way to the iPhone and iPod touch, but has not yet become available on Mac or PC.

Reports have said Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was personally involved in this new project before he passed away in early October. Jobs even told biographer Walter Isaacson that textbooks were one product he wanted to reinvent, along with photography and televisions.

Attendees at next week's event are expected to be from the world of publishing, and reports have suggested it will be more of an industry-related event than a consumer-oriented product announcement. One report from earlier this month claimed Apple would take the wraps off of new improvements to its iBooks platform at the event, but any announcements have been characterized as not "major."