Did Apple do enough to grab back education market share?

“At a Tuesday event in Chicago, Apple announced a new version of its iPad in an effort to make inroads in the US education space, where the company has trailed competitors like Microsoft and Alphabet,” Bill Maurer writes for Seeking Alpha. “While the new tablet is certainly better than the older version it replaces, the company may not have done enough to make the progress [for which] many were looking.”

“Apple has been well behind Google in the US school race, primarily because of device pricing,” Maurer writes. “There were many that were expecting a lower priced iPad could help reverse this trend, with the new tablet perhaps starting as low as $259.”

“As expected, the new iPad was again a 9.7 inch screen version, and it does contain support for the Apple Pencil. The A10 chip that currently is on the two Pro iPad models also comes over, a nice upgrade from the A9 chip in the previous 9.7 inch model. The company is also giving students 200 GB of iCloud storage for free, a substantial increase from the 5 GB given previously,” Maurer writes. “However, Apple did not meet expectations when it came to price. The new iPad goes for $329 for consumers and $299 for schools, the same pricing that the old model contained. While the new version obviously has some hardware upgrades and Pencil support, the price point is likely a disappointment for those who thought Apple was moving down the price ladder.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in December 2015:

Why are Apple devices losing share to Chromebooks in U.S. public schools? Because U.S. public schools are cheap, underfunded, and/or extremely shortsighted. There’s nothing at all new about that, unfortunately.

Check out the best schools: Apple Macs and iPads dominate.

Apple unveils new 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support starting at $329 – March 27, 2018
Apple unveils ‘Everyone Can Create’ curriculum – March 27, 2018
Apple’s iWork update brings drawing, book creation and more to Pages, Numbers and Keynote – March 27, 2018
MacDailyNews presents live coverage of Apple’s March 27th ‘Field Trip’ event – March 27, 2018
Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers – October 23, 2012


    1. The problem is, once you have fallen behind, you have lost. School boards make multi-year commitments and don’t want to buy new sh** every year. You shouldn’t have fallen behind to begin with, Apple.

  1. Schools don’t have any money. Yes, their tech people get hung up on Windows or Google vs Apple, but I think for the most part it’s the upfront cost. Many schools don’t see the difference among the various technical solutions. Offer a school board three deals: Windows (or whatever), google and apple. The school board won’t know or care that much, but they will care if they are seen as spending too many tax dollars. Odds are they will go for the lowball option, even if it is crappy.

    On another note, I don’t think tech should be in the grade schools K-8. High school, okay, but not elementary. Find out where most Silicon Valley executives send their kids. They know the kids are better off without a screen in front of their face all day. Their kids go to old fashion schools, like those in Finland.

    1. As a teacher in a k-5 school, I can tell you we use iPads and chrome books on a daily basis. It saves a fortune in paper waste and students find a wider variety of source materials which can make instruction more engaging. The biggest issue in the achievement gap is due to engagement and I’ll use any tool to keep students engaged. We don’t turn a blind eye or spend a whole day on any computing device. It’s just another tool we use like pencil and paper.

      Try teaching a student whose family legally immigrated from El Salvador but the kids speak no English yet. Translation apps are essential to supplement ESL services so students can keep up while learning a whole new language. (And don’t get political, Dad is a surgeon and mom is a teacher so no one is here to steal your blue collar job in my example.)

      1. I don’t doubt what you have said. However, I am the parent of a child. I send him to a school that costs £14,000 per year. When he reaches 11 the years old, it will rise to £20,000. He receives rigorous instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, science and foreign languages. He has to learn perseverance, grit, graft and creativity – in order to prepare him for his future challenges.

        His education is not about making difficult tasks “fun” or reducing long-term effort into a game. It is about his recognising the importance of sustained purpose, recognition of obligation, slow achievement and just satisfaction. I would worry whether the emphasis on work being “fun” rather than requiring steady and unglamorous determination and application is setting up children for a fall when it comes to exams and the reality of real work in adult life.

  2. Veteran teacher here—It’s the keyboard, stupid. Plain and simple. iPads are wonderfully engaging devices especially for primary grade elementary kids, but by the time we’re in fifth grade, we need keyboards and laptops, which is why chromebooks are winning. Give me a MacBook at 599 or 499 and there’s no contest.

    Well, that and the fact that public-school IT departments are usually bottom of the barrel windows people and they have no idea how to administer a large deployment of MacBooks.

    1. Always excuses with teachers. Always want more. Always want more money. always want something different.

      How about this, get rid of all the bells, whistles and toys and focus on learning, not playing?

      1. How about stepping in front of a class for a couple weeks before you go spouting off about what teachers need or don’t need? I love it when people don’t enough know enough to know that they don’t know about something….so they just put in their uninformed 2 cents.

        1. You sardonically call us “uninformed” even though we’ve all been in schools ourselves. You also assume none of us reading your comments are teachers. Finally, you didn’t mention one single thing that you do need or want as a teacher.

          Thanks for the truly helpful post.

      2. Chris Re Teacher comment:
        You send your kids to school 8-9 hours a day 5 days a week for 13 years. The environment and those who convene it will have more impact and influence on the lives of our children than almost anyone else. And if you are like most people, your children are the most precious and lasting thing in your life.

        Why would you want to skimp, penny pinch and deny your children the best learning environment possible? Even if your children are grown, the students will be the people who fix your car, repair your roof, cook your meals, care for your health, handle your investments and all the rest. If for nothing other than self interest you would want them well educated.

        There is a reason Fine wine costs more than Mad Dog 20/20. Americans in general give the schools inadequate resources, pay teachers poorly, shackle their ability to innovate and adapt the material to the needs of each class and then want to fire them when the results are not great. When you buy a beater former rental car do not expect a new Porsche.

          1. They would be ‘screwed’ even worse if not for Chromebooks since Apple had pretty much decided it did not care to compete in the space effectively. I’ll give their new plan a year and see how they fare.

      3. How about when you have your masters in education like me you can decide what “learning” should look like. Kids learn best when the feel engaged in materials. Good teachers can make play into learning and drastically increase the learning curve. The worst teachers are the ones that lecture mindlessly with no thought of engagement.

        Always want more? Ha! Try getting a 4 year degree that pays $30,000 to start because you are dedicated to improving the lives of kids and then spending a third of your paycheck buying materials your school can’t afford to provide to make your classroom more engaging. Get your masters degree for that massive $2,000 pay bump annually. I could have made more money working as a manager at a McDonalds but I value the limitless potential of our next generation. I’m sorry you feel the money is wasted, but teachers that care and teach well are severely underpaid and under resourced.

        I quit a good job in b2b sales to go back into education. I make 1/4 of my previous salary but there is value in what I do.

    2. I don’t know about you but the small amount of typing my kid does even in High School doesn’t require a physical keyboard. This iPad with pencil/crayon will be great for the math homework, science homework as well as all the presentations they do – I would argue that the iPad is much better for the learning in school as a small amount of learning is in the typing/writing papers. Imagine being able to have your textbook on screen and take notes in the margins or right on the page for reference later on any device you pick up? I think that laptops hold kids back from learning. The iPad is more like the old days with paper but it is dynamic paper which is much better.

    3. iPads have touch screen keyboards + iPad covers with built in keyboard. Also 3rd party bluetooth keyboards that work with iPads too…
      Problem solved. Next.

        1. 1. You get what you pay for…
          2. ChromeBooks are just a data mining portal for Google to sell to advertisers, PACs, Government.
          3. Microsoft, Apple & Adobe apps do not work on Android based OS…limited. Students will work with these in future on PCs + Macs.

  3. Completely stale and underwhelming, just like Tim Cook’s presentation skills. Trotting out a couple of teachers to spout Apple pr nonsense will not convince one school to switch back from Chromebook.

  4. I’ll ask, I wonder how Google Chrome laptops are doing with inroads to enterprise? businesses?

    If I were a teacher, My first thought would be, are we preparing the kids for the real world? because the real world businesses use windows for the most part. Sad but True… So Is Google Chrome making huge inroads in business as well? I just dont know,
    But as MDN waits with baited breath for more world class programs from Apple, Nobody else is waiting if you want business. Money.

    Apple should be everywhere, but refuses to hit obvious markets, Thank god for the Iphone for now,

    Another question,,, who here sticks with Safari, where sadly, i just find that Chrome works WAY better, ? What browser would these teachers be telling the kids to use? What programs are the kids learning? ANY of them by Apple?

    Apple is so painfully stupid when it comes to education and kids.. Google is not, Apple should be indoctrinating the kids to Apples ecosystem from day one, Apple should practically be giving the computers to the schools.

  5. Yeah, Tim lacks the mojo, like Steve. They could use a better spokesperson.

    But seriously, as lovely as everything looked today, when you stop and analyze what that lovely looking software requires, the whole system becomes a straightjacket. The teachers spend their time learning a new tracking/grading/testing/ assignment system as do the students, versus spending time reading, thinking, experimenting, etc.

    School boards should save their money. Of course, doing that and the parents will scream and shout that their kids aren’t getting the best high tech crap and will grow up to be dumb-as-rock losers. Which many of them will because all they can really do is play cool games and know how to create playlists.

    Sit down at the library table and start reading a book. Turn off the computer, stare out the window and imagine.

    All of us should do this more, but especially our elementary school kids.

    Maybe Apple should rethink its educational strategy? Maybe its philosophy is wrong. Maybe a strategy where the use of technology is more targeted. Right now Apple wants the technology to become a net around the whole system. That may be good for revenues but bad for the kids and teachers.

    Come on, APPLE, be bold. Rethink your education philosophy.

    1. Tim lacks the mojo, unlike Steve.

      Steve was among the best presenters.

      Apple should look for a new spokesperson. Tim is nice but we need someone else making the pitch.

      Hey, I know, maybe Eddie Cue! LOL (No! No!)

  6. Oddly there was not much mention of privacy, you’d think at this specific point in time that would’ve been Tim Cooks opening. And then have every presenter afterwards point out privacy protection in their presentation.

  7. Schools need to encourage creativity in learning instead of making testing the priority. Apple is encouraging artistry & creativity in promoting what the Apple Pencil can do. Imagination in learning, working (remember the imagineers?) is what I believe the company is trying to steer education towards.
    It’s just like anything else, if you want to get anywhere in life, there has to be sacrifice, discipline and spending something (our time, money etc.) to get somewhere. Our education system needs to rethink & take into consideration major changes.

    1. Tell me what a MacBook can do that an iPad can’t do? Especially in a school environment. I would argue that you can probably do more in a school learning environment on an iPad than a MacBook.

  8. I wish someone would explain why you need a keyboard to learn. How much typing do we actually do in school? My kids do a lot of presentations and videos – seems to me most of what they do is actually look at content on a screen – iPad is perfect for that as it just sits on the desk like a piece of paper.

    1. Apple has been Education + Teacher Forward since the original Macintosh. Apple has worked with thousands of teachers in thousands of schools for for over 30 years. Apple trained teachers how to accept & use computers + desktop publishing with the original Mac + LaserWriter printers BEFORE Windows existed.

      1. Perhaps, but it is pretty obvious to everyone that Apple took their eye off the education ball for far too long. The question is will their current efforts be enough to compete effectively, or will they follow the iPhone mindset of being satisfied with the ‘top’ 10% well funded portion of the education market?

        1. Given the handwriting skills I see in school every day, (too late for me to fix it now) if Apple can make handwriting recognition work, then world peace should be accomplished in 27 minutes.

  9. Apple so epically misses the point when it comes to education I don’t know where to begin. They might try talking to actual educators next time instead of imposing their ‘Apple knows best’ hubris. Kids at the primary level need less technology, not more, and a child’s development requires a heckuva lot more than touching a screen.

    1. Apple has been Education + Teacher Forward since the original Macintosh. Apple has worked with thousands of teachers in thousands of schools for for over 30 years. Apple trained teachers how to accept & use computers + desktop publishing with the original Mac + LaserWriter printers BEFORE Windows existed.

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