Apple Inc. is preparing to introduce low-cost iPads and education software next week in a bid to win back students and teachers from Google and Microsoft.
Bloomberg.com reports that the company has scheduled an event at Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago where it plans to unveil a new version of its cheapest iPad that is designed to appeal to the education market. Apple also is expected to showcase new software for the classroom.
In recent years, Google and Microsoft have had success selling inexpensive laptops and tablets to schools. Devices running Google’s operating systems on Chromebooks or Android tablets held 60 percent of the market, and Windows PCs had 22 percent, according to data from the third quarter published by Futuresource Consulting.
Apple accounted for 17 percent of mobile computing shipments to American students in kindergarten through high school
A new, cheaper MacBook laptop is in the works and likely destined to replace the MacBook Air at a price less than $1,000, but it probably won’t be ready in time for the Chicago event, sources said.
Rival laptops have made inroads into the education market lately, a field that originally helped Apple make its name. The sector is a priority for technology companies because students learn to use a certain type of device, then head into the workforce and spread the technology wider.
Next week’s event also will provide an opportunity for Apple to highlight the work it’s doing with Chicago schools. In December, the company partnered with the city’s public school system and City Colleges of Chicago on a coding curriculum for thousands of local students.