The Oxford English Dictionary is considered still the highest echelon in English Dictionaries. The second encyclopedic edition came out in 1989. From the looks of it the subsequent 3rd edition might be the last one in printed form. Surely, the presence of innumerable online alternatives has about wiped out the business of printed dictionaries. The situation of course, varies by countries.
Appreciating the trend, the Oxford University Press will not be publishing a printed copy of the next version of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). They will stress, instead, on the online publication system and make the dictionary available as an e-book. The OED is currently available online as a subscription based service and remains very popular.
Nigel Portwood, the chief executive of OUP, mentioned that the print dictionary market is dropping away at at least a 10% per year. This implies that by the time that third edition comes out, OED's market would have dropped to about 35%. With a sharply diminishing market, it makes low business sense to keep investing the millions of dollars in research, managing lexicographers.
Most competitors in the market maintain both online and printed versions. Also, in many of the developing countries the slow advent of e-books, and relatively less widespread reach of the internet will still keep printed dictionaries in business. Even now, many schools in India prescribe dictionaries in printed form and printed dictionaries continue to be a fairly competitive and lucrative business in India. Harper Collins, for example, has tied up an Indian publisher to bring out an India reprint of their widely popular Collins Dictionaries in India. Their dictionary range is wide spread to cover the pre-primary school market to dictionaries for adults in various languages and language combinations.
South Korea is welcoming technology into the elementary-level education. By about 2014, it is expected that all educational material at the elementary level will get digitized and in another year. The curriculum will get delivered on computers, smart phones and tablets. The education ministry had revealed that it will spend $2.4 billion buying the requisite tablets and digitizing material for them.
Some schools in the country have already started using digital versions of textbooks. The government will gradually choose the make of the tablet which will get used. The main contenders for the tablet are the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab. While these decisions are taken, there is a current debate on for the effectiveness of the form factor as against the text books. Other contenders, and manufacturers make a case for a larger screen size to be compliant with the size of the books. Kno, another manufacturer, believes that students look for a e-reader which will be able to faithfully reproduce the books on the screen without compromise. Kno's survey also mentions this as the primary reason for the previous trial failures of other readers like the Kindle DX.
In any case, this is potentially a large windfall for Samsung and a great step in integrating technology with education in South Korea.
In India, there are some conversations by privately run schools for considering or a different other tablet for the same purpose. However, givent that not much of a movement has happened, it is assumed that it will still take some more time.