Apple beat Dell in Henrico with 12-inch iBook G4, superior OS features, Mac-only software

“Henrico County received proposals from five companies to supply the middle schools with laptops, but in the end, negotiations came down to the same two that faced off for the high school laptop contract: Dell Inc. and Apple Computer Inc.,” Olympia Meola reports for The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Dell snagged the high school contract from Apple in April. This time, Apple’s offer was sweet enough to keep iBooks in the hands of county middle school students for the next four years. ‘Apple came in and was more aggressive this time,’ said Lloyd Brown, Henrico schools’ director of technology and selection committee member.”

“The nine-member selection committee unanimously chose Apple, and the School Board on a 3-1 vote recently approved a contract for 12,675 laptops at $1,246 each for a total of $15.8 million,” Meola reports. “Dell offered different prices for varying services, but the cost per laptop with a summer refresh program was $1,224. At that price, the contract would have come to $15.5 million, according to Dave Myers, assistant superintendent of finance. But price was only one of the factors the selection committee considered.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Price was only one of the factors?!” Miracles can happen!

Meola continues, “Several members cited the size of the Dell laptop [too large for student’s backpacks] and the breadth of instructional programs on the Apple laptops as two distinguishing factors… The Apple iBook G4 designated for students, at 12 inches, is a newer version of what the middle school students carry now. Machines for teachers measure 14 inches. Apple’s machine features a slot-load drive and a battery that is supposed to last six hours, both of which are advantages, Myers said. Also, Apple included some attractive extras for instruction, such as certain software [iLife was mentioned (the new iBooks will also include Microsoft Office according to reports)] and an operating system with built-in features for special-education students, such as text-to-speech and zooming capabilities.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How’s that Dell program going in the high schools? Seems the Henrico School Board have already learned their lesson; they even figured out that sticker price isn’t the end all be all when choosing a personal computer. Imagine that.

MacDailyNews Note: To use Zoom on your Mac (Mac OS X 10.2 and higher):
• [Command,Option,*] toggles Zoom on and off. That’s “Apple, Option, Asterisk” in English.
• [Command,Option,+] zooms in, centering on the cursor position when Zoom is on. “Apple, Option, Plus Sign”
• [Command,Option,-] zooms out. “Apple, Option, Minus Sign”
Easy, huh? And it zooms waaaaaaaaaaaaay in. Try it. It will zoom out to your display’s current resolution, as you would expect. If you move the cursor while “zoomed” in, you will scroll around the screen.

[Power has been restored to MacDailyNews’ sprawling northeast U.S. campus as of 2:30am EST. 65 hours without power, water, heat in weather that approached minus 10°F wind chills – how was your weekend?]

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple beats Dell: lands deal to supply 12,675 iBooks to Henrico County Middle Schools [UPDATED] – February 09, 2006
Keep or dump Apple iBooks? Henrico restarts laptop bidding on middle school computer contract – October 28, 2005
Henrico to decide whether to ditch Apple iBooks for Dell laptops in middle schools – October 10, 2005
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


  1. If you’re going to zoom, make sure that you go to the Universal Access System Preferences panel, click on the “Options…” button under “Zoom” (in the Seeing tab), and select “When zoomed in, the screen images moves … Only when the pointer reaches an edge” near the bottom. You should check out the other options as well, but this one in particular eliminates see-sickness.

  2. MDN: [Power has been restored to MacDailyNews’ sprawling northeast U.S. campus as of 2:30am EST. 65 hours without power, water, heat in weather that approached minus 10°F wind chills – how was your weekend?]

    Working out of your garage, eh? Maybe turn on the heater in the car that´s parked in there with you. Just watch out for carbon monoxide poisoning!

  3. The article read…

    “I think the kids will just get really excited about these new programs,” she said.

    Gotta get them when they’re young, maybe go home and learn Momma and Pappa somthin’

    MW: problem., as in, “I had a problem putting on my Rutherford B.Hayes costume this morning!”

  4. My weekend was great! Got an email from Apple yesterday notifying me that my MacBook Pro shipped yesterday! How long does Fedex take to ship from China to Canada?

    Sorry to hear you were without power for the weekend MDN. That can be a real pain in the ass. We got a taste of it up here in southern Ontario back in 2003…NOT FUN!

  5. Spent the weekend at the beach -Bondi – a balmy 30degrees C. Very nice for eating Gelato, watching the glassy blue swell and the very attractive sun seekers.

    I wonder what exactly happned here that was different to the previous proposal. It didnt seem like the package would be so much different. The statement ‘Apple came in and was more aggressive this time,’ must hold some sort of clue. DId the sales guys actually do some work this time?

    Next weekend I will take a board! or maybe snorkel!

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