File photo: Tim Cook, CEO, possession of an iPad Pro after the keynote of Apple’s annual world wide developer conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, USA 5 June 2017. (REUTERS/Stephen Lam)
Apple started thinking about the iPad more than 35 years ago, but the Chicago-based event this week is likely to show off a new, cheaper version of the popular tablet. The company hopes its efforts will strengthen its position in the education market, an area where his name, but has lost ground in recent years.
The education market is a focus of Steve Jobs in the company in the beginning of the day. (In fact, the author of this story recalls his first experience on a computer that is a Mac in a computer lab for the age of 10). But it has become a smaller focus for the company in the past few years, something that experts say it would like to recoup.
“[W]hile the tech-revenue generated by the education segment remains small, at less than 10 [percent] of the market, the products that are used in schools are important because they set a precedent for future use,” Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner wrote in a research note ahead of the event. “In our view, the students become familiar with the school’s technology informs the adult purchases, so education is an important indicator for long-term technological trends.”
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CFRA Research analyst Angelo Zino is of the opinion that the new iPad, which is rumored to cost as little as $259, the characteristics are similar to other iPads Apple sells now. He also expects to hear an update on Swift, an Apple-developed coding language (calling it “the perfect audience”), an update for the Apple Pencil, a $99 stylus used for the iPad and some other education-oriented statements.
“I think it also fits with the company and the more aggressive pricing plans for students, and that is something we can hear about the day of tomorrow,” Zino said in an e-mail to Fox News. “Apple is losing ground to the more affordable Chromebooks in the past few years, so it would be great to hear something on this front.”
Apple, which usually keeps its product events in California, including at its Cupertino, California headquarters, will head to the Windy City’s Lane Tech College Prep High School showcase of a cheaper version of the iPad is appealing for schools, together with education-specific software, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who first broke the news.
According to a report in The Washington Post, Apple has ceded significant ground to competitors such as Google and Microsoft in education. Apple’s iOS operating system accounts for only 12 percent of the school, the technology behind Microsoft’s 22 percent and Google at a whopping 60 percent, helped by its cheap Chromebook laptop.
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The tablet pc market, where Apple still has a role to play, can be a area to even out the playing field.
While research firm IDC showed that the overall tablet market declined by 6.5 percent in 2017 163.5 million units, Apple managed to against the trend and grow its shipments to 43.8 million, giving it 27 percent of the market.
The research firm credited Apple with preservation of good lead” in the market as a result of the lower price of the 9.7-inch iPad and its recently refreshed iPad Pro tablets.
“While the lower-price iPad is continue to drive a strong consumer upgrade cycle of the shift of focus is on the iPad Pro and the opportunities in the commercial and education,” IDC wrote in February, in a press release.
Apple has also focused much of the recent iPad advertising on younger consumers, sparking a discussion about what a computer is and what is not, while a considerable enlargement of sales.
THE IPHONE IS ALSO ADDICTIVE, STANFORD STUDENTS SAY
In Apple’s fiscal first quarter, perhaps the most important, as it covers the holiday shopping season, delivered 13.1 million iPads to generate $5.86 billion in revenue, accounting for 28 percent and 21 percent growth over the previous quarter, respectively.
On the company’s January transcript, Apple CEO Tim Cook credited the strong results in the part “the first tablet buyers or those switching to Apple.”
In the case of Apple may also show off refreshed versions of its Classroom app for the iPad that allows teachers to manage devices from Apple used for school work, the iTunes U app and maybe a new version of the iBooks app.
There is speculation that Apple is reportedly working on a cheaper version of the popular MacBook Air computer, could announce the laptop at the event. However, Zino told Fox News the announcement is probably more suited for the WorldWide Developer Conference, scheduled for June.
Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia