Can education give Apple’s iPad a much-needed sales boost?

“Apple has offered up a preview of what iOS 9.3 will bring, and one new feature is an increased focus on making the iPad a key component in schools,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes for ZDNet.

“There’s no doubt that Apple needs to find a way to sell more iPads,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “While sales haven’t exactly been dismal – any other tablet maker would love to have the sort of sales that the iPad sees – they are on a downward trajectory, and nothing Apple has done over the past couple of years has changed that.”

“Apple isn’t a newbie to the education arena, but this new thrust in iOS 9.3 shows a renewed interest in getting iPads into schools and the students hooked on them at an early age,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “And it plans to do this by making iPads no-brainer easy for teachers to leverage.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Multi-user support in iOS for iPad should have been available for years now. That Apple is only now getting around to it tells you all you need to know about why iPad sales have stagnated and why Apple is getting its ass kicked by Google in U.S public K-12 schools.

Apple delivers multi-user support for iPad – in schools only – January 11, 2016
Apple loses more ground to Google’s Chromebook in U.S. education market – January 11, 2016
Why Apple devices are losing share to Chromebooks in U.S. public schools – December 23, 2015
Apple CEO Cook on Google Chromebooks in U.S. schools: We’re not interested in making ‘test machines’ – December 11, 2015
Apple pivoting iPad education strategy to regain its footing in face of Google Chromebook surge – December 5, 2014


  1. Not just in Education. Apple needs to make this feature available for every iOS user, and should have done so long ago.

    I’ve been calling for multi-user support since the first generation iPad was released. There’s the argument that shared devices will reduce sales, but it’s clearly an idea who’s pros outweigh the cons.

    Touch ID should make this quite easy to implement and I wouldn’t be surprised if the next gen Magic Mouse or keyboard had Touch ID for the same purpose. In my 4 person family we have (2) 27″ iMacs, (2) iPhone 6, (1) iPhone 5, (2) iPod Touch, (1) Apple tv, (1) iPad Retina and (1) Mac Mini Server. And even though everyone in the family has at least one device of their own, there are still devices we share like the computers and iPad. I have multiple users set up on all the computers and it’s only logical that iOS devices would offer the same functionality.

    When any member of the family picks up the iPad for example, they should see THEIR Mail, Contacts, Safari bookmarks, Photos, Messages, Facebook profile, their game progress, etc. It’s just common sense. And if anything, Apple would sell more higher capacity units and iCloud storage to supplement this. It’s seriously a no-brainer and I have no idea why it’s taken this long. And even if I have my own device, I don’t always want to carry it room-to-room in the house. I’d rather pick up the iPad on the coffee table and log in with my fingerprint. I honestly do not understand anyone who doesn’t use multiple users (like my parents) or shares email addresses and Facebook accounts.

    1. I shudder to think how they are going to do this. When you create a Numbers spreadsheet of your rhinestone collection, for example, that rhinestones.numbers file gets saved INSIDE the Numbers app. In the bundle or package, or whatever it is. They don’t do something smart like put all of your files in /Bobs/Numbers/rhinestones.numbers. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been around a long time), and I’m sure they will come up with the dumbest way possible to fix it, instead of cleaning up the entire mess. They’ll probably just obfuscate the file names and keep a separate corruptible XML list like they do in iBooks (another dumb fix to something that wasn’t broken).

      1. In other words, iOS is inadequate for multi-user productivity use. Always was.

        iCloud and iOS apps have no ability to manage files, and if you ever attempt to work offline in iOS, you’re up the creek. One working with iCloud never knows where the “master” file is, so one has no choice but to depend on Apple’s flaky iCloud syncing.

        So now Apple has been able to kludge some semblance of multi-user capability for education only. Yippee, so kids can download homework assignments. If they are tasked to CREATE something, or COLLABORATE on a project, they really need file management that OS X offers. If you are someone who does significant collaborative work, you owe it to yourself to host your own data. NAS systems are cheap and powerful today.

  2. While I don’t disagree with the premise (multi-user should have already been in there) I wonder that even with it in there would it matter when competing against a $300 Chromebook. Schools in the U.S. are so cash strapped that the cheapest option will win.

  3. Release the Pro version for every size iPad. And Tim, where are the Apple Pencils? Shipping the first Pro iPad and 3 weeks to get the Apple Pencil is again, your screw up. I really miss Steve.

  4. I don’t understand why Apple “needs” to do anything if they are already profitable and have a healthy business? Why must sales continually increase every quarter? Why can’t they just be at decent rate, and people be happy with that?

    1. While Apple doesn’t need the K-12 education market for revenue, it is an area which there were strong in before being overtaken by arguably better ROI of Chromebooks.

  5. I think Apple aimed wrong with the multiuser capability for education. The feature, though appearing impressive misses the point of Chromebooks’ account login. Unless you are working in offline mode, all data is stored in the users’ accounts in the cloud. What multiuser for iPads sounds like is that each user will have a ‘user partition’ on the device possibly requiring iPads with larger storage to be purchased. This does not solve the root point of having 1:1 student-device ratio for a given budget.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.