Apple looks to win back students and teachers with new low-cost iPads

“Apple Inc. is preparing to introduce new low-cost iPads and education software next week in a bid to win back students and teachers from Google and Microsoft Corp.,” Mark Gurman reports for Bloomberg. “In its first major product event of the year, Apple will return to its roots in the education market. The event on Tuesday at Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago will mark the first time Apple has held a product launch geared toward education since 2012 when it unveiled a tool for designing e-books for the iPad.”

“The world’s most-valuable technology company plans to show off a new version of its cheapest iPad that should appeal to the education market, said people familiar with the matter,” Gurman reports. “The company will also showcase new software for the classroom, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private plans.”

“Last year, the global educational technology market generated $17.7 billion in revenue, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan,” Gurman reports. “Apple accounted for 17 percent of mobile computing shipments to American students in kindergarten through high school, according to data from the third quarter published by Futuresource Consulting. Devices running Google’s operating systems on Chromebooks or Android tablets held 60 percent of the market, and Windows PCs had 22 percent.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in May 2016:

The cream-of-the-crop schools, like the cream-of-the-crop consumers and corporations, deploy Apple Macs and iPads, not cheapo plastic Chromebooks. Unfortunately, too many U.S. public schools, unionized in the worst possible way, are broken through and through.

As we wrote back in January 2016:

There is no easy answer for a company dedicated to quality to compete in a market that’s hellbent on shortsightedly wasting taxpayers’ money on cheap, shitty junk.

Make that “cheap, shitty, privacy-invading, unsafe junk.”

Google’s Chromebooks are still spying on grade school students – April 21, 2017
Apple’s answer to cheap Chromebook test machines: The new $299 iPad, tailor-made for education – March 22, 2017
Apple is losing its grip on American classrooms to cheap Chromebooks – March 2, 2017
Apple CEO blasts teacher unions, says US schools are ‘unionized in the worst possible way’ – February 16, 2007


    1. Apple is not consistently late to the game. but it does jump in and out of different areas quite a bit, resulting in inconsistent and mediocre support when education, businesses, and pros are looking for long term stability and support.

      Apple was an early entrant into the education market. But it failed to maintain focus on that market over the intervening decades, thus enabling other vendors/platforms to jump in and undercut Apple. Once the Apple ecosystem in the schools became fragmented, there was little incentive in sticking with Apple. This story has been repeated with business/enterprise and pro users – one moment you are Apple’s primary focus and the next you are left hanging out to dry as Apple flips its focus to something else.

      Those who know me on this forum recognize that I am a strong Apple advocate who is not afraid to point out Apple’s errors and missteps. Well, this is one of them, and it has been around for quite a while. Apple is a very large company and it should be able to sustain strong, solid, stable support for education, enterprise, developers, pros, etc. Stop jumping in with something potentially great, but letting it die slowly over years through neglect. Innovation can occur while maintaining a smoother evolutionary path in these areas. For example, don’t get people hooked on an application and then summarily kill it off completely, or offer a new, but not yet mature, alternative. Education, enterprise, developers, pros – people in these markets need time to adapt to changes, develop and tailor workflows, and certify new software and processes. The magic is wonderful, but disruption is not always a good thing if it is forced on you.

      1. Your statement: “resulting in inconsistent and mediocre support when education, businesses, and pros are looking for long term stability and support.”

        is very true. With Apple’s attitude towards these areas as more or less arrogant in assuming that what we do is OK, screw them, it is a wonder that they even try again when so many people have moved on, in regards to these topics. What do they have to gain? If they support education one year, and dump them the next? (as an example)

      2. Apple has indeed exhibited something like arrogance as it navigates the River Future, avoiding known sand banks and shallows but abruptly changing course as it detects new obstacles in the ever-changing stream of commerce. It’s the arrogance of the riverboat captain sensing changing navigational conditions and barking new orders to the crew, and deliberately ignoring any obligation to coddle his passengers whilst safely delivering his precious payload. Passengers may grumble as they disembark, but they ought to credit the pilot for his skill in protecting their lives and fortunes.

  1. It will be interesting to see if the Facebook/Privacy issue, gains momentum and carries over to the other big data whore- G@@gle. Unfortunately many school districts, trying to cut corners and save money, have already invested in dronebooks. The big G is probably even worse at collecting your data then Facebook, and people just keep allowing it more and more. We are turning into a society of lazy idiots for the most part.

  2. If they are to compete with Chromebooks, those new iPads will have to be priced so that when you buy a keyboard for them, the price and TCO will remain competitive.

  3. Well, in the grand scheme of most towns’ bloated school budgets, the cost of Apple devices vs any other would be a rounding error. Although I would be very surprised of Apple devices did not provide a superior educational experience, not to mention safe-and-secure privacy.

    But most bean counters compare the cost of product A vs the cost of alternative product B — without accounting for any value metric at all, other than “purchase price”.

    The end result is that whereas many parents would prefer first-rate education experiences for their kids (since they already own houses, cars, lifestyles, experiences that are first-rate), their kids’ school administrators end up buying crap educational electronic devices.

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