Despite an updated iPad and new education initiatives, Apple is still blowing it in schools

“Look, I love the iPad. However much you think you love the iPad, I probably love it more than you do. I use it for ~90% of my computing needs these days (and the other ~10% is about work-related auth issues — with a slight nod to the preference to editing my writing on the ‘desktop web’ as well — though I mainly write on the iPad),” M.G. Siegler writes for Medium. “The iPad might be my favorite computer, period.”

“But. I think Apple is throwing away an opportunity here with the iPad in schools,” Siegler writes. “This educational iPad needs to include some sort of case. Ideally a case that holds an Apple Pencil. And ideally an Apple Pencil that comes with the iPad. Oh, and a keyboard.”

“I know how this must sound. I used to make fun of people who said the iPhone needed a physical keyboard. This is different. The reality of our current world trumps Apple aiming for the future here, at least in this segment of the market. If Apple really wants to compete with Chromebooks in schools, these are the table stakes,” Siegler writes. “If Apple’s goal is to get the most profit out of schools and students, okay. That in no way should be the goal here. It’s about planting seeds that will grow into profitable fruit down the line. Obviously. This is what Apple used to do. And it worked beautifully. But they’re not doing that here. And I’m not sure why… What I really fear is that Apple has sort of lost touch with reality here.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last Thursday:

When you’re pulling in over a quarter of a million dollars per day, as is Apple CEO Tim Cook, how much touch with reality can you really be expected to have?

Despite Apple’s latest “education” dog and pony show, the paradigm hasn’t changed in 40 years: The richest and/or most forward-thinking schools will have Apple solutions and the rest won’t. The former will produce the type of people that will get the best jobs.

Apple’s education strategy is not based on reality – March 29, 2018
Apple’s iPads are for the U.S. public schools we want, Google Chromebooks are for the ones we’re stuck with – March 28, 2018
Apple banks on creative learning to convince schools that iPads are better than Chromebooks – March 28, 2018
New iPad’s enemy isn’t just Chromebooks, it’s the U.S. public education system – March 28, 2018
Logitech’s Rugged Combo 2 keyboard and case for Apple’s iPad has its own smart connector – March 28, 2018
Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad offers 2GB of RAM, 2.2 GHz A10 processor – March 28, 2018
How Apple lost its place in the classroom – March 28, 2018
Apple bids for education market with new software, new iPad – March 27, 2018
Apple takes aim at Google Chromebook with $299 iPad with Apple Pencil support for schools – March 27, 2018
Did Apple do enough to grab back education market share? – March 27, 2018
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
How Apple blew it and lost the education market to Google – March 23, 2018
Apple product delays have more than doubled under CEO Tim Cook – January 5, 2018
Google’s Chromebooks are still spying on grade school students – April 21, 2017


  1. Well said lateral thinking is NOT the strong point of the money/production people its all about trimming and increasing margins. Its rare that such a figure sees the opportunity to take a different direction and outflank and it certainly seems that Cook is about as remotely related to such a figure as we are to a fish.

    1. And yet Cook professes to have a real social conscience. He seems to be blind-sided here, not putting his money where his mouth is. With education Apple needs to lose the idea of making major profits which will come from these kids later growing up and buying Apple products in the future. Instead think of it as a service to the community and good will.

  2. My daughter uses a flip over touch screen Lenovo laptop she loves with a full digital curriculum as a sophomore at a private girls high school. My son in the 7th grade at a parish middle school uses a Chromebook, a full digital curriculum on Google Drive with Google Docs. That’s about $30,000 a year in tuition to schools that can install any solution they choose, and they are not choosing Apple for reasons that are abundantly clear. Apple’s solution is incomplete and massively overpriced. It’s very clear Apple pays lip service to the markets where it chooses to not compete. When you look at their balance sheet that has overcharged its customers by the healthy slice of a trillion dollars, it’s obvious the rich kids in Cupertino are completely disconnected from reality.

    1. Apple supposedly “owned” the Education market 5 yrs ago and then, poof…something happened and “ownership” was lost. This type of market ownership doesn’t evaporate unless the drivers of the bus take their hands off the wheel…even though they may be proclaiming how committed they are to the sector. When Steve would comment on the company’s values, they would often simultaneously be current, or soon be true. I can’t ever remember him speaking in such a way and questioning the reality.
      Unfortunately, voice and action aren’t as symbiotic with Cook. To think Steve would guide the ship better might naive and romantic, as the ship is an aircraft carrier and no longer a frigate? Regardless, how a CEO let’s slip dominance in a sector like a thief in the night is more than a little concerning…one of the many I perceive.

      1. To be fair, it may not have been completely Apple’s fault. Schools were given a mandate for one computer per student. Chromebooks fit the niche perfectly for the best value per dollar not just in device but with the services that were provided with the devices in the educational arena. Macs had no chance due to school budgets and the world moving ever further into heavier use of the cloud. Apple could have adjusted accordingly but decided it would ‘cost’ too much to reduce margins and/or provide better educational services. For a company so large with so much financial resources, iOS development and sales is NOT an excuse.

  3. They should have these iPads in aluminum (kiosk) type stands that provide security, locked down, and have the pencil on a tether. Of course that just adds to the price tag, and “It’s all about the money, stupid”

    1. That may totally defeat the purpose of iPads being mobile devices and massively interfere with the AR features they are toting now as an advantage over Chromebooks.

  4. Apple will continue to stumble here. They do not seem to have addressed one of the biggest problems which is lack of device management for the admins. Apple has not provided these critically needed tools, 3rd party solutions are available and at a cost. Its a big headache and a big mess for people supporting dozens or 100’s of iPads.

    1. With their “Field Trip” announcement last week, I believe part of the presentation was regarding improved device management tools for Admins.

      Time will tell if those tools are useful given that it is also a chicken-egg problem of not being fully evaluated by schools w/o enough iPads and the same schools not willing to increase iPad purchases w/o first knowing the admin tools will be effective.

  5. Good News! Thank you for sharing this good information that apple updated their Ipad for the new education initiatives. I really appreciated the apple author for this great initiative. Actually, I am a college student who struggles to write academic assignments that’s why I am interested to take some academic support from Edubirdie but I didn’t know that is edubirdie legal and reliable site for the students needing help in writing a good paper, so please anyone gives me a recommendation of their service who already took their service. Thanks in advance!

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