The most obvious reason for the iPad mini to exist is so that Apple can do battle with other companies in the 7-inch space. But, perhaps even more importantly, Apple will align its new device to make an impact in education, where the company’s technology is already advancing the way students learn.
Offering up a smaller, cheaper alternative could potentially make Apple’s ecosystem that much more accessible among schools, and further establish the company as the leader in education. But that’s only if the device comes in at an affordable entry level price. The latest rumors suggests Apple will start off at $329, which is well above the price of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7.
“Once these tablets get in to the $200 to $300 range we are going to see a real aggressive uptake in the K-12 market,” said Vineet Madan, a senior vice president at McGraw-Hill Cos. education unit.
Bloomberg on Monday reported that Apple will make it a point to highlight the advantages of an iPad mini in schools while the education market moves on from full fledged computers.
“We’re moving away from desktops and laptops,” said James Ponce, the superintendent of the McAllen Independent School District in Texas. “Ninety percent of the work is now being done on mobile devices.”
Bloomberg’s report follows a separate rumor that claimed iBooks would be a huge focus during Tuesday’s event. Apple has always marketed its iPad as a tool — learning, creating, etc. — and it sounds like its approach isn’t going to change just because the company is going smaller. Consumers will likely be all over the iPad mini when it’s announced tomorrow, but Apple hasn’t forgotten about educators, either.