Why Apple acquired LearnSprout

“Intent on improving the iPad’s position in the education market, Apple has acquired LearnSprout, a company that specializes in education technology,” Jason Cipriani writes for Fortune. “Intent on improving the iPad’s position in the education market, Apple has acquired LearnSprout, a company that specializes in education technology,”

“Earlier this month, Apple announced iOS 9.3, a new version of its mobile operating system. The impending update puts a big emphasis on improving the iPad’s role in classrooms, including allowing students to share the same device by using user accounts,” Cipriani writes. “In addition, iOS 9.3 will offer teachers new tools to track students’ progress on classwork and assignments. Apple will also release new software for technology administrators, designed to make it easier to assign iPads, create user accounts, and install applications.”

“Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook having called Google’s Chromebook laptops ‘test machines’ last month, Google’s Chromebook is winning the battle for the classroom. A total of 1.63 million of the cloud-connected laptops were sold to schools in the Q3 2015, according to market research firm Futuresource Consulting,” Cipriani writes. “Those shipments account for just over 50% market share of devices used in the classroom.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Too little, too late?

Apple acquires education-tech startup LearnSprout – January 28, 2016
Why iPads are losing to Chromebooks in education, and what Apple needs to do about it – January 13, 2016
Should Apple make a ‘CloudBook’ for the education market? – January 12, 2016
Can education give Apple’s iPad a much-needed sales boost? – January 12, 2016
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. Every iPad is a cloud iPad. What kids like doesn’t matter. It’s going to be difficult to beat the combination of google services and cheap ChromeBooks that do the job not only as well as an iPad, but better. Apple’s “cloud services” don’t compare. Apple offers a group of oddball disjoint cloud services. Google’s offerings are cohesive, easy to use, and they work everywhere on everything. Not only that but with their services, the network really is the computer. A kid working on a cheap chromebook in class, doesn’t need to carry it home, he can use his Mac or iPad at home. Hell he can do his homework on his iPhone if he likes. Devices can be shared due to multiuser login (Apple is addressing this), and one of the most important things is that you can remotely support a ChromeBook. You can’t remotely support an iOS Device. It’s still hell walking people through problems. I.e. what do you see on the screen now?

      Apple has some catching up to do in education.

      At the university level, Macs are doing well. So are iPads. But Google owns the K-12 world.

      1. Couple more comments..
        Any Computer is a cloud device … What i mean by an cloudpad is a striped down device thats low cost and its is based on cloud computing with minimal local processing.
        Naturally Apple will have to improve their web services…and make them more compatible.
        And what kids think.. Imho.. Is very important.. what they learn, feel comfortable and familiar with is very important..
        These are the minds that will be the decision makers down the line.

    1. It’s the apps, not the platform. I know many Mac users who have been sucked in by Google Docs. No kid at school cares what the brand name on the device is.

      Chrome is not the main threat, other than Google being willing to give it away at prices that Apple will not match. The bigger problem is that Apple doesnt offer a good office suite. Apple’s iWork sucks, it just doesn’t have the features that everyone wants. So lots of people are being forced by work or school or whatever to use Google Docs — or the smarter ones amongst us still use MS Office.

      Office for the Mac (version 2011) to be the most secure and powerful Mac-friendly office suite on the planet. Why would you want a half-assed Apple imitation, and why would you let Google datamine everything you type?

      Apple needs to bring back the eMac and load it up with MS Office and sell it cheap. Apple doesn’t need to make a profit on educational sales, they need to let kids learn the most powerful software they will be able to grow into. That means Excel and Word right now for any kid in primary school or above.

    1. Good thing it’s a long game, at the rate Timmy moves.

      It is bizarre how Cook will just give away entire industries of professional products — people who depend on Apple for their livlihoods and will pay top dollar for top performance — just so that Apple can instead spend money on kid stuff.

      Kids are, for the most part, NOT critical of hardware and OS. They just want great software. Apple already makes software that looks like Fisher Price — it’s called iOS. And Apple already relies on 3rd parties to make applications — it’s called the iOS app store. So what technology or market is Apple specifically gaining here?

      Sounds like somebody who knows Timmy recommended the purchase and Timmy mindlessly pulled out a few million from his pocket change to make them happy.

      Just like the Beats boondoggle, I’m sure it will force changes to the Apple product mix. But not necessarily for the better, and almost certainly at the expense of losing focus on Apple’s most important products like the Mac.

      1. Kids are not critical of hardware or the OS?

        Excuse me while I laugh. Did you miss what MP3 player won with kids? Did you miss what cell phone teenagers all want and use?
        You must have been paid heavily by Samscum.

        1. Think, you and the rest of the peanut gallery are really not thinking clearly are you? Mike is closer to being right than you are.

          Your misspelling of Samsung doesn’t change the fact that, yes, more kids use Android phones than iPhones. More affluent adults prefer iOS, but it is absolute fact that kids and parents with limited budgets select the less expensive choice.

          As I recall, MDN spent years insulting those people and calling them “settlers”. And you Cook apologists insult anyone who points out where Apple gets it wrong. Apparently that’s how much the truth hurts.

          Apple today is scrambling to come up with something that will sway the kids back to iOS because they know that they aren’t winning the mindshare of future users. Kids are more loyal to the apps than to the platform.

  1. The primary Cromebook flaw is students open access to the filth on the Internet. Parents should match against students having any open internet access. Safari should also be removed from iPads used by students.

    1. yes, with an open safari they will find filth, (like rush lumagh and ronald dump)
      and yes safari should not help them find it to distract them from the subject at hand

      rational filters are the actionable solution, not an outright ban

  2. Just me, but if I designed the iOS for student use, I would let the teacher/school decide which URLs the students could access.

    It could be set by grade & class needs.

    Period …

  3. The one thing chrome book has is a laptop form factor for word processing. My 6th grader is on google docs all day using a chrome book at school and on a MacBook Air at home. Despite growing up in a Mac household, she does not care what the typing station is as long as it connects to Google docs. She wouldn’t want to be doing all that writing on a tablet because of the separate keyboard. Can she edit photos on the chrome book at school? No for that they have a few macs. But since 90% of the time they are typing, the school needs a cheap, no frills laptop for factor.

    IMHO, the threat is not chrome books, but Google docs. My kid has a very positive association with Google because that’s where she co-authors assignments in realtime and has the teacher drop in with helpful suggestions. Apple may March this with learnsprout, but I can’t see schools asking kids to do all this writing on iPads. Since apple doesn’t want to make a flimsy laptop like chrimebook, Foley may have apple in a bind. Precious generations grew up thinking Word was the standard for information processing. This generation is growing up with Google as the standard. Apple needs to not let this happen.

  4. Why did they aquire? Because Apple couldn’t and didn’t think of it and get it going on. Name one “killer” app Apple has that is the ultimate industry standard. You can’t there is none. Just the os.

    I’m totally not impressed. For instance. Just writing this spelling “aquire “. It insisted I wanted “squirrels “. 4 times. How could the sentence be “why did they squirrels “??? That would not happen with Google.

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