Apple scores ‘largest ever’ one-to-one education laptop deal with up to 63,000 iBooks to be deployed

Apple today announced in a press release that the Cobb County School District has selected Apple as its supplier in the largest ever one-to-one computer learning initiative. The district’s program, named “Power To Learn,” plans for Apple to provide iBook G4s to every student and teacher in the district, starting with deployment this fall of more than 17,000 iBooks for teachers district-wide and students at four high schools designated as demonstration sites. Pending school board approval, the second and third phases of the program will equip all Cobb County high school and middle school students with iBooks beginning in 2006, resulting in a total deployment of 63,000 iBooks.

“We’re thrilled to work with Cobb County public schools on this landmark one-to-one initiative,” said Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s executive vice president of Worldwide Sales and Operations in the press release. “School districts across the country have improved student achievement with the help of Apple’s one-to-one solutions, and this ambitious project will give Cobb County students a tremendous academic advantage.”

“The Power to Learn program represents a giant step forward for education in Cobb County,” said Joseph Redden, superintendent of the Cobb County School District in the press release. “Apple’s combination of innovative technology, world-class technical support and unparalleled experience in the education market make it an ideal partner.”

Designed with education in mind, the iBook G4 is encased in a sleek, durable polycarbonate plastic enclosure and offers superb performance with either a 1.2 GHz or 1.33 GHz PowerPC G4 processor. Providing up to six hours of battery life for all-day use in the classroom, the iBook offers AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g wireless networking. Every iBook also comes preloaded with Mac OS X and iLife ’05, allowing students and teachers to make the most of digital movies, photos and music in school projects and presentations. The lightweight iBook fits easily in a backpack and its slot-load optical drive has no protruding trays or doors that can break.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Cobb County school board approves Apple Mac plan; could eventually distribute 63,000 iBooks – April 29, 2005
Cobb County school officials intend to move forward with Apple iBook program – April 21, 2005
Cobb Commission chief urges delay in Apple iBook program, says issue has become too emotional – April 20, 2005
No conflict of interest in ongoing Cobb County Apple iBook saga – April 19, 2005
More controversy in Atlanta-area school district’s plan to buy Apple iBooks – April 16, 2005
Cobb County Georgia approves first phase of plan that could equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – April 15, 2005
Atlanta-area school district on verge of deal for 31,000 Apple iBooks – April 12, 2005
Cobb teachers voice concerns over using Macs for proposed laptop program – March 29, 2005
Cobb County Georgia meeting discusses plan to equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – February 24, 2005
Report: 90 percent of emails opposed to Georgia’s Apple iBook program – February 10, 2005
65,000 Apple iBooks for Georgia schools one of the largest school laptop programs in the country – February 10, 2005
Georgia school district to propose 63,000 Macs for students and teachers – February 07, 2005


  1. Living in Cobb county, I can tell you that this has been a difficult birthing process. Many people are angry about the board’s method of pushing this through. The local paper has this positioned as a sham, with lots of letters to the editor suggesting kickbacks to the Superintendant and complaining of the selection of ‘Apples in a Windows world’.
    Having the Henrico school district switch to Dells a few days ago made me worry that the PC lovers here would swarm, but nothing.
    Hopefully the teachers, who recieve the iBooks a year ahead of the students will come to appreciate the hardware and OSX. I have offered my help to every teacher I know. Time will tell.

  2. Congratulations, Cobb County. I know this has been a long time in the making. As for the folks complaining about “Apples in a Windows world,” just keep in mind that training kids on Tiger now is the best available preparation for Microsoft’s Longhorn — which should be available around the time these kids graduate.

  3. Tigerman.. unless it’s Half Life Highschool.. non-issue..

    Simple as that..

    The worst thing about Apple is the perception of failure/low marketshare..

    The games come a few months later.

    Boo freakin’ hoo..

    Students will be delighted.

  4. Pat …

    For you to offer your assistance to the teachers is a noble effort, for sure … Getting them used to using a superior platform could be a daunting task, as some might need to be dragged along kicking and screaming …

    But, once they realize the many benefits of Mac OS .. they will eventually come around and realize they made a wise choice …

    It will be interesting to “check the books” from both Cobb and Henrico counties in a couple of years to compare the total costs ensued from both the Dull and Apple programs …. I’d be willing to bet Henrico county will end up having to explain to the tax payers why their choice ended up costing them much more in the long run !

    But then, I expect these numbers will be kept from the general public ..

    magic word = thinking …

    as in.. its obvious to see who was doing most of the thinking when these decisions were made

  5. “Let’s hope it ships with iWork instead of AppleWorks”

    They should ship the ibooks with MS Office. Only after seeing MS Office running on Mac OSX will nay sayer accept Mac as a real working computer.

  6. This is do or die for Apple. The size of the installation and the high profile will decide how well Apple will be received in the future in similar situations. If it goes well then Apple stands a good chance of landing more contracts. If it fails utterly Apple will not be considered much by anyone. I am an Apple fan and I hope I am wrong but this could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

  7. At least these guys aren’t on the take like those Henrico fools. Someone should investigate that one. Unlike seasoned politicians, those school board members didn’t do a good job selling their “change” of opinion. It’s the blind leading the blind over there.

  8. Henrico school board on take?

    I don’t think so. For Dell, Henrico contract was probably a must win contract. They would have promised the world to win it. For Apple on the other hand, it was not. They were in position they could not lose. If the win the contract good. If they lose the contract, they still has chance coming back in four years. I’m sure the price difference between Apple and Dell, which may not include cost of maintenance, was real. I assume the contract did place the burden of maintenance on the contractor, Dell. So costwise Henrico will do ok. Real sad part will be how much time student’s time will be wasted in updating the OS. Homeroom time may have gone from 15 minutes a day to 45 minutes a day, just to make sure every student’s OS is up-to-date with all the patches.

  9. OK, I’m ignorant, I’m not an American…where the hell in the US is Cobb County? How about giving us non-Americans a state to put the story into perspective?

    I’m not blaming MDN for this oversight. This is an Apple USA press release, and it shows. The PR person who wrote this would never cut it as a journalist.

    I wonder if All US readers know where Cobb County is…I’d wager they don’t.

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