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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Apple Is Lowering Prices For Students, But Twitter's Not Here For It

Apple Is Lowering Prices For Students, But Twitter's Not Here For It

Whether they're being used for educational purposes or just for killing time, tablets are a valuable tool. But perhaps the biggest drawback of tablets — especially Apple's iPad — is that their premium price tag makes them inaccessible for many people.
Apple has apparently recognized this issue and has responded with a big announcement.

At Apple's education event in Chicago, they unveiled the new iPad.

The 9.7″ tablet supports the Apple Pencil writing tool and is already available in Apple stores everywhere. It comes in three finishes: silver, space gray, and gold. Users can expect about 10 hours of battery life.

The biggest selling point, though, is the price.

Last year, Apple lowered the price on the iPad to $329. The new 2018 iPad also retails for $329, but schools can buy them for a reduced rate of $299. The optional Apple Pencil costs $99 for consumers and $89 for schools.

It's Apple's biggest-ever push to get their products into schools.

While it was rumored that the new iPad could cost as little as $259, this is a fully-featured iPad that can be had for as low as $299. It's big news from a premium company.

Apple's also making a big play into educational apps.

VP of product marketing Greg Joswiak told attendees in Chicago that the Apple app store has more than 200,000 apps devoted to education.
Despite all of this, there are some serious issues with the announcement.

Costs add up pretty quickly.

$299 for an iPad sounds like a good deal, but after factoring in the cost of a stylus and keyboard, schools are looking at about $450 per unit.

These costs haven't gone unnoticed.

In a technologically-driven world, it's more important than ever to teach kids how to use technology. But an iPad, even with a reduced price, isn't particularly accessible for everyone.

Even in developed countries, schools are chronically underfunded.

When kids are sometimes using decades-old textbooks and teachers are paying for photocopying out of pocket, it's hard to know where the money for these iPads is going to come from.

Another angle to this story: the Chromebook.

Google's cheap laptops are increasingly feature-rich and offer a full laptop experience for a cheaper price than a base iPad. Apple is clearly trying to keep up.

On Twitter, reactions were fairly negative.

While many techies get excited about any new Apple announcement, the prevailing tone was one of skepticism. Basically, Apple is trying to change schools — but the discount is minimal.

Ultimately, the school discount isn't too significant.

Basically, this is a product that sells for more than $300 — and with an educational discount, Apple will knock just $30 off the price. 

The true value here might lie in Apple's commitment to education.

iPads still aren't cheap, but with the proliferation of educational apps, plus new ways for kids to interact with their lessons, Apple may be onto something here.

Time will tell if Apple's big move pays off.

Worst-case scenario for Apple, this is a new iPad that will probably sell just as well as every other iPad. Best-case scenario, this is a game-changer for teachers and students everywhere.

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