updated 02:01 pm EDT, Mon October 22, 2012
Smaller, cheaper iPad could draw in educators
When Apple's smaller iPad debuts tomorrow, the Cupertino-based company will make a special point of focusing on the device's potential for educational use. Apple is hoping to use the lower-cost iPads to make a big push in the education sector and thereby grow its already existing lead in the tablet market. In preparation for the focus on education, Apple is reportedly readying an update to its iBooks feature with a streamlined authoring process, making it easier to produce e-textbooks.
The new information on the iPad in education comes from Bloomberg, which cites persons familiar with Apple's planning. The education market is not new to Apple, which has a long history of making its computers available at discounted rates to school districts. Apple's tablets, though -- and a smaller, cheaper version especially -- are seen as more attractive than traditional notebooks and desktops, as they are more portable and generally more cost effective.
A good deal of Apple's success in the market may depend on how the company prices the devices, though. Recent rumors have the iPad mini debuting at $329, well above its other 7.x-inch competition. Amazon, in particular, is looking to make a push for its Kindles in schools, and the e-retailer has the content infrastructure and price point to potentially compete with Apple in the segment.