Henrico to decide whether to ditch Apple iBooks for Dell laptops in middle schools

“This spring, Texas-based Dell Inc. beat out Apple Computer Inc. to supply laptops to Henrico County high school students and teachers. And if Dell has its way, Henrico won’t dish out Apples to middle school students and teachers next year,” Olympia Meola reports for The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Until this fall, Henrico high school students toted Apple iBooks. Middle school students still use Apples. In June, that contract is up for grabs.”

Meola reports, “When making a pitch for the $17.9 million, four-year high school contract, Dell offered to provide at least 14,000 middle school machines for $20 less per unit than the high school laptops. The school system has until Nov. 1 to sign on. The Henrico school system purchased 15,800 Dell laptops at $1,131 apiece for the high school program, compared with Apple’s offer of $1,386 per unit. Joseph P. Rapisarda Jr., county attorney, said the School Board can accept Dell’s middle school offer without seeking other proposals. But if the county issued a request for proposals for the middle school contract, Apple could bid again. A lease for the majority of the iBooks expires in June.”

“School technology officials are still waiting to see how the Dells perform now that a vast majority of high school students are using them. So far, only a few issues have been reported,” Meola reports. “Meanwhile, little has been said about the iBooks, which have been in use in the middle schools for the past three years.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For some reason, we’re not hopeful that Apple Macs will be chosen for Henrico’s middle school students and teachers next year. Expect more Henrico County women to wet themselves standing in line for $50 Apple iBooks in the future.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Henrico students ‘excited’ to have Dells after four years with ‘hated’ Apple iBooks – September 24, 2005
Dell VP on Henrico’s switch from Mac OS X iBooks with to Windows XP Dells: ‘a computer’s a computer’ – September 22, 2005
After dropping Macs, Henrico officials work to protect students’ new Dells from viruses – August 30, 2005
Woman wets herself to keep place in line for $50 Apple iBooks – August 16, 2005
Apple continues to lead in customer satisfaction, Dell loses more ground – August 16, 2005
Henrico citizens stampede for $50 Apple iBooks – August 16, 2005
Henrico closes $50 Apple iBook sale to general public; only Henrico residents can buy – August 03, 2005
Henrico moves $50 Apple iBook sale to Richmond International Raceway due overwhelming demand – July 28, 2005
Apple announces 30,000 iBooks deal with Florida’s Broward County Public Schools – July 27, 2005
Henrico residents object to public sale of Apple iBooks – July 26, 2005
Henrico County Public Schools to sell Apple 12-inch iBooks for $50 each on August 9th – July 25, 2005
Henrico blasted for choosing Dell laptops with Windows XP over Apple iBooks with Mac OS X Tiger – May 09, 2005
Henrico school officials on Apple to Dell switch: The logo will change, but the tool is the same – April 30, 2005
Henrico school board dumps Apple Macs, picks Dells with Windows – April 29, 2005
Henrico County Apple iBook plan in jeopardy? – April 02, 2005
Survey shows support for Henrico iBook program with ‘lukewarm support’ for Apple’s Mac OS X – March 07, 2005
Henrico poll finds students are using iBooks successfully – February 11, 2005
Henrico iBooks raise concerns among some parents – May 28, 2004
Henrico high school laptop program to continue, but will it still feature Apple Macs? – February 24, 2005
More schools experience Windows virus, worm problems while Macs just keep working – August 22, 2003
A tale of two school systems: Windows schools crippled while Mac schools unaffected – August 21, 2003

Thurrott: Microsoft’s Windows Vista Beta 1 vs. Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger – August 29, 2005
Dvorak: Mac OS X is already better than Windows, Vista may be end of line for Microsoft’s dominance – July 26, 2005
Thurrott: Apple Macs offer a safer computing experience than Microsoft Windows PCs – July 20, 2005
Thurrott on spyware: ‘we should have paid more attention to those Apple Switcher ads after all’ – July 08, 2005
Apple to unleash Leopard on Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn; Mac OS X 10.5 due late 2006 – early 2007 – June 07, 2005
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BBC News: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘the most stable and reliable OS, well ahead of Windows XP’ – May 10, 2005
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BusinessWeek: ‘Tiger bolsters Mac OS X’s edge as the best personal-computer operating system’ – May 06, 2005
The Guardian: Mac OS X Tiger a powerful solution while Microsoft’s Longhorn remains on drawing board – May 06, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times: Mac OS X Tiger shows ‘there’s never been a more compelling time to switch to Mac’ – May 05, 2005
Dan Gillmor: ‘With Mac OS X Tiger, Apple is plainly in the lead today’ – May 05, 2005
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The Independent: Apple’s ‘faster, smarter, simpler’ Mac OS X Tiger ‘a must-have’ – May 04, 2005
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Boston Herald: Mac OS X Tiger should compel Windows PC users to think about switching to Apple Mac – May 02, 2005
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Associated Press: Mac OS X Tiger ‘provides another excellent incentive to switch from Windows’ – April 28, 2005
Mossberg: Apple’s Tiger ‘the best, most advanced personal computer operating system on the market’ – April 28, 2005
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Thurrott: ‘Longhorn is in complete disarray and in danger of collapsing under its own weight’ – April 27, 2005
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  1. I don’t know the economics involved in a trade-in program, but a trade in value of $75 ($25 more than Henrico sold the iBooks for) would have generated a net price per replacement iBook $20 lower than Dell’s unit price.

    Could Apple have made these iBooks available to the public through a third party (which would have then sold them for $150 each)? Could the third party have made money after paying the logistical costs associated with such a deal? I don’t know, but tend to think it possible.

  2. Gregg and Others,

    According to the article, the price of the Dhell’s: $1131. The price of the iBooks: $1386. Thus the Dhell’s are $255 cheaper. A trade-in of $75 is not going to tip the balance.

    Unfortunately public officials tend to only look at the dollar amount.


  3. http://macvspc.info/

    Old news here, no doubt- but someone needs to send them the link- perhaps I will!

    Plus, they can go buy their iBooks from amazon, who (after rebate) has the 14″ G4 for $1199.

    After most of their PC laptops get buggy, slow due to viruses and adware, and basically cease to be productive- that oerceived “savings” will be moot.

    No, no kool-aid guzzler here, just a recent convert after extensive research.

    Then again, Ford always seems to win the contracts with it’s Taurus over Camrys.

  4. Please, Henrico officials, Please get some decent police presence at the next auction. You can justify it by not having any security costs during your used Dull laptop auction (sooner than you think), cause dere ain’t gonna be no one dere to buy your crap.

  5. zupchuck:

    Oh come on, it is a little funny!

    Maybe, Henrico Cty officials could organise a ticketed queuing system a la your favourite deli. Hardly beyond the realms of human intelligence.

    Personally, I’ve lost interest in this story and the fate of the children in Henrico Cty; on the basis that you get the elected officials you deserve, Henrico residents made their bed and now they can lie in it. If they want their kids to grow up well versed in playing games, cleaning viruses and adware and trying to work out why “Shut down” is nested under the “Start” button, Windows is clearly the platform for them.

  6. i used to live in virginni a long time ago. that was one state i was glad to leave. what a collection of trailer-trash; between the god-shouters and intermarried backwoods hicks, it’s no wonder that they can’t figure out what type of computer to use there. it’s really amazing that anyone there knows how to spell computer, let alone use one. this is the state that has strict term limits on virtually all elected positions; nobody can stand anyone else for any length of time! i don’t know why they even bother trying to edjukate anyone; all the spawn there seem interested in is breeding and getting high.

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