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Apple Introduced a New iPad with Reduced Pricing for Schools

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Photo: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Apple introduced a new iPad today during their education event in Chicago.  But we knew that, didn’t we?  Rumors have been floating around about Apple’s next iPad.  How would it be different?  What will it cost?  So when we heard that it’s going to be cheaper, I for one was thrilled!  Not because I don’t believe in spending money for quality devices, but I do feel like the iPad’s are a bit overpriced.  Or maybe I should phrase it this way – there isn’t an economical version of the iPad for “light” users. My parents, for example.  They’re older.  They don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles that we find in the Apple iPad, and yet, they still have to pay the price for one.

To recap the announcement – Apple introduced a refreshed version of their 9.7″ iPad, with Apple Pencil support.  The updated iPad will be available in Apple stores today, in silver, space gray, and a new gold finish. The tablet will include Touch ID, an HD FaceTime camera, 10 hours of battery life, an 8-megapixel rear camera, LTE option, and Apple’s A10 Fusion chip.

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Apple did lower the price of their 9.7″ iPad last year, with the base model just starting at $329.  That was a great move, and in fact, it actually got my parents talking about an iPad.  But today, they’re going one step further for students.  Apple is offering the new iPad to schools for only $299 and to everyone else for $329.  Which I think is a great step, but I think they can do better, don’t you?  I mean we are living in a technology-focused era, which means, kids need this kind of technology to further their education.  Given how much money Apple has, and makes, I think they could lower this price even further.  But that is just my opinion.

The problem that Apple has is that an iPad, with an Apple Pencil and a keyboard, is going to cost close to $450.  That is more expensive than the cheaper version of the Chromebooks, which are starting to support the use of a stylus.  Google, however, is starting to introduce Chrome OS tablets, which means Apple is going to have a hard time selling these to public schools at that price.

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Don’t get me wrong, I think the product is incredible, but when it comes to education, I don’t think they should be charging public schools as much they are.  The government often gets “deals” for large-scale purchases, so why couldn’t public schools have some kind of purchasing agreement with Apple as well?  I mean, there are how many schools in America? Apple would still be making a ton of money, so it’s not like it doesn’t make sense for them.  Also, this is a really good PR move.  Even if the price was $200, Apple is going to be much farther ahead.  Five years ago, Apple’s iPads and MacBooks accounted for half of all the devices shipped to schools.  But now, Apple has fallen way behind with Google making up nearly 60% with their Chromebooks.

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