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iPad mini event could focus on education

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October 22, 2012

Apple hopes to see the iPad Mini introduced to classrooms everywhere (template: Shuttersto...

Apple hopes to see the iPad Mini introduced to classrooms everywhere (template: Shutterstock)

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Apple loves education. If you were a child of the 80s or 90s, there's a good chance your school had a healthy supply of Macs or Apple IIs. In recent years, though, many schools have shifted to cheaper Windows PC vendors like Dell and HP. The iPad has given Apple an avenue back into schools, but the company's big return to schools may come from tomorrow's introduction of the iPad Mini.

Apple made a big push earlier this year with an iBooks textbook event, but that may have just been setting the table for tomorrow. According to a report from Bloomberg, the iPad Mini event will heavily emphasize education. Though the consumer market is still Apple's top priority, there's a lot of financial opportunity in schools, and Tim Cook and company are ready to pounce.

The educational tablet wars are picking up. Amazon is also pitching its Kindle family to secondary and higher education institutions, and many speculate that the recent Microsoft-Nook deal had similar motivations. The tablet market is already one of the most critical races in tech, and the educational market only raises those stakes.

Perfect Fit?

Even cheesy stock classroom photos may soon feature iPad Minis (original: Shutterstock)

Even cheesy stock classroom photos may soon feature iPad Minis (original: Shutterstock)

The personal, touch-oriented nature of tablets makes them great learning tools for children, and their prices make them a great buy for schools. The San Diego Unified School District agrees: it bought over 25,000 iPad 2's earlier this year, at about US$370 a pop.

Not every school district will spend $10 million on iPads, but the lower-priced iPad Mini could help to cast Apple's educational net a bit wider. With a rumored $329 price tag, a similar discount may let schools buy the smaller devices for around $300 each. That's only a $70 drop from the iPad 2, but when buying thousands of units, it adds up.

We can expect to hear more on this front tomorrow. The smaller iPad is expected to sport a 7.85-inch display, and have a lighter/thinner form factor: perfect for smaller hands. The event should also see the announcements of a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, and a refreshed iMac and Mac Mini.

Gizmag will have coverage and analysis of the event, continuing to the iPad Mini's (rumored) Nov. 2 launch.

Source: Bloomberg via TUAW

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin covers consumer technology for Gizmag. He's previously written for Android Central, Geek, GottaBeMobile, Android Police, and The Huffington Post.
He lives in New Mexico, U.S., with his lovely wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
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3 Comments

The US has always been about choice. Becoming Apple-centric is not what I want for our children! Concepts such as Adobe AIR at least provide platform choice and can address social/economic differences. With budgets tightening, San Diego's purchase of iPads was and is illogical. If anything such purchases should be put out to bid to the various manufacturers and operating systems.

Fahrenheit 451
22nd October, 2012 @ 02:20 pm PDT

I would be okay with that when Apple gives up the "Total Control" model. I want a memory card slot and I want to be able to NOT use iTunes. Having to crawl to Apple for everything is incredibly annoying. I need a company to make things for me, not be my nanny.

VoiceofReason
23rd October, 2012 @ 07:22 pm PDT

As an educator in a school system with iPads provided and constantly circulating, I can say that it does way more harm than good. I don't care if it's a surface tablet or iPad, it's not a beneficial use of our ever-decreasing funds.

Racqia Dvorak
26th October, 2012 @ 04:37 pm PDT
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