updated 12:47 pm EST, Fri February 1, 2013
$4.5 billion tablet initiative at stake
A group of Apple executives including education VP John Couch met with Turkish President Abdullah Gül earlier today, according to reports. The two parties talked about several topics, such as the Turkish "F-keyboard" in iOS, which people have complained has some keys in bad positions. One of the main topics though was the government's $4.5 billion tablet program, which could see as many as 15 million tablets reach Turkish students.
Apple has reportedly been bidding to make the iPad Turkey's tablet of choice, but negotiations are still in progress. The iPad is becoming a staple in some North American classrooms; a Turkish contract, however, could provide a large bonus to Apple's bottom line, and establish the iPad in the minds of the country's children.
The company has been putting more emphasis on Turkey in recent months, for instance by launching sales of iTunes movies and music in the region, and starting work on an Istanbul Apple Store. The country has been relatively neglected in past product campaigns, but could see more attention as Apple tries to expand its markets and win the Turkish government's favor.