back to article Turkish president mulls $4.5bn Apple fondleslab school deal

Apple boss Tim Cook will meet Turkish President Abdullah Gül tomorrow to discuss a mega deal which will equip 15 million kids with their very own state-sponsored fondleslab. The fruity führer will sit down with President Abdullah Gül, who is planning to spend $4.5bn on buying schoolchildren their own tablet computers. Cook's …


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  1. FartingHippo

    If you must...

    ...then please buy them each an Android tablet. They'll learn just as much (and probably more, as the more open device provides more opportunities for exploration and understanding) and you'll still have a couple of billion dollars to improve the rest of the education system.

    A no-brainer in my world.

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: If you must...

      Exactly - and given the attrition rate of the average bit of tech kit in the hands of most kids you should go for the cheapest or it will cost twice what you thought.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you must...

        "Exactly - and given the attrition rate of the average bit of tech kit in the hands of most kids you should go for the cheapest or it will cost twice what you thought."

        Errr. I believe Thailand tried that, and it ended up costing rather more than that (before the idea was canned) because the "cheapest" slabs lasted about five minutes. My lad has been lugging an iPad2 for close to 2 years now I think, and despite a cracked screen, and a chunk missing from it (he got run off the road while biking and the iPad made an exit from his schoolbag with damaging results), the iPad 2 is still working as good as ever.

        They may be expensive, but my random sample of 1 suggests that they are also both sturdy and reliable and the whole life cost is way lower than a piece of cheap Chinese clone rubbish (which is what "the cheapest equates to).

        Down votes away!

    2. Mage

      Re: If you must...

      But spending it on good teachers is even better. Or infrastructure. 18 months or 2 years the tablets will in the majority be U/S and the educational value is anectodal.

    3. Steve Todd

      Re: If you must...

      Missing an important factor - software. It's all very well giving them all tablets, but if the text books and teaching software that they need aren't available on the platform then it's a bit of a non-starter.

      The argument of "well, if there are all these customers then software companies will flock to write it" ignores the fact that it takes TIME to write good software. What do you do, go with a platform that has all that you need now, or wait until another can catch up?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you must...

        Shhhhh, don't you dare knock the wonderful Android. Just like desktop Linux we know it is superior to anything and if there's no software to do something then you don't need it.

        Email, games and the web, what else could anyone possibly need?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you must...

      Apple's advantage is two fold:

      1. There's one iPad range, a few models but basically 100% compatible (or as close to as possible).

      2. The iBooks, interactive textbooks.

      If they go for Android there's too many different models, compatibility issues and malware.

      1. Craigness

        Re: If you must...

        "too many different models, compatibility issues and malware"

        They only need to buy 1 model.


        Don't install malware.

        But they'd be better off with Chromebooks.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you must...

        Interactive textbooks is the killer app here - that and better security / support and overall the TCO over an equivalent Android handset is probably similar less over their lifetime.

    5. jof62

      Re: If you must...

      What world do you live in ? one that wants to see school kids faffing around in some android box rather than learning. When they have left school they could get a job in one of the many quangos here and faff around like thousands of other fools

    6. Micky 1

      Re: If you must...

      "..then please buy them each an Android tablet. They'll learn just as much (and probably more, as the more open device provides more opportunities for exploration and understanding) and you'll still have a couple of billion dollars to improve the rest of the education system."

      They are looking for an educational tool, not something new to learn about. How would having an open device improve its ability to help little Jefi during his home economics class? or English class? or anything other than "Android Tablet Usage Class". If a tablet is used in schools it should be the most locked down, simple to use OS possible, that way there is a small chance of actually getting some work done, rather than having to fix the problems caused by the little shits tinkering with everything they can find.

      Personally I preferred the pad I had in school, I think it was made by Pukka, it came without the required stylus (they always get you on the extras...the bastards), but Woolworths had a box of 10 for a couple of quid made by a company called Bic I think.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you must...

      Initial purchase price is just part of the total cost of ownership and Apple gear generally wins on longevity / support which balances up the extra initial purchase cost.

    8. Lars Silver badge

      Re: If you must...

      But does it come with the brown envelope too?.

  2. Stretch

    if he pays that he is a total idiot. Oh wait he's a religious nutjob. Well that's the best description of a fanbois there too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not a good time for such contracts

      Given the current exposure of corruption and how deep it is within the current government, one wonders what does it mean for their friends and family?

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Not a good time for such contracts

        Free IPhone 4

  3. Bill the Sys Admin

    really....4.5 Billion!? Im not an expert in the education system in turkey, but im sure that they could find better things to spend it on other than 15M Tablets...

    1. NomNomNom

      If I had a $ for every year of the Earth Id have .... hang on someone is telling me $6000

  4. Eradicate all BB entrants

    So thats about ...

    .... $300 each. Seems they can discount when they want to. At current rates that's around £190. Add VAT and they are saving around £90 if it is a Wifi only mini.

    I still think writing implements and books would help more. Like in science now, they won't carry out experiments in the class, they watch other people do it on youtube.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So thats about ...

      "I still think writing implements and books would help more"

      So, the Commentariat on one of the world's premier (well, ish) tech news sites reckon that technology is inferior as a teaching aid to old fashioned paper and quill pens?

      I disagree. A tablet (even if short lived) will give a kid access to a complete world of information that they'll never get in some dusty, out of date textbook. And whilst Youtube may not be the same as doing the experiment yourself, it's a zillion percent better than the probable alternative of not seeing the experiment on Youtube AND not seeing or doing it in the classroom. There's also some cool and free educational resources out there that give people access to alternative teachers (eg the Khan Academy) far better than they're likely to find in the village school. Or publicly open resources that can be mined to improve standards, such as the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching.

      Some people have suggested Android because its cheaper. That's true, but there's the significant security gap between Apple and Android that makes Apple a better (admittedly not foolproof) bet to hand to kids. And the logical extension of the low cost path is the Indian government's Akash tablet debacle, where they're trying to push lacklustre low spec Android tablets to their schoolkids - which do you think will be a better learning experience: an iPad mini, or a 7 inch low spec slug running a forked version of Android tied to a non-Google app store?

      And then we come to the "kids will only break it". Certainly spoilt Western kids manage that. But I'll wager that in poorer countries kids are more grateful and more careful, particularly as there's unlikely to be a free replacement paid for by the parents. Word will soon get around when Kemal breaks his tablet and has to share somebody else's, or use chalk and slate.

      I'm all for this, I think the Turkish government are thinking in the right direction, and I think it can only benefit their kids. Meanwhile, those casting aspersions from UK shores should consider that the height of this country's attempts to combine IT and education amount to teaching our kids to produce lurid but fact-free presentations in Microsoft Office. Curiously enough, my eldest attends a very successful independent school, and they are moving to a digital learning programme based on guess which fruity tablet?

      1. Eradicate all BB entrants

        Re: So thats about ...

        At what point in that single sentence did I mention text books? Well? (And those text books are just as likely to be correct as Wikipedia)

        Learning to write with a pen or pencil is part of the basics, as well as being able to read what you have written. It's what most of the commentariat here used to learn how to read and write. Technology can be a wonderful tool to aid learning, but in no way should it be relied upon, which is the method it is moving towards.

        For example, even if not true it still stands as a good example for the point I made. NASA spent millions developing a pen that could be used in zero gravity. The Russians used a pencil.

        1. Philip Lewis

          Re: So thats about ...

          Do you somehow think there is a current shortage of writing implements in Turkish schools?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So thats about ...

          "Learning to write with a pen or pencil is part of the basics, as well as being able to read what you have written."

          Funnily enough, when I drafted my response, it included a paragraph commenting on the dying need for handwriting. If handwriting were so important than there would still be a demand for novels written by monks in illuminated scripts. Funnily enough that's not evidenced.

          The reason most (but not all of us) learned to write with a pen is because there wasn't any alternative. You will note how the quill got replaced with the pen, the pen by the ball point. The ball point is next to go.

          1. GotThumbs

            Re: So thats about ...

            There will ALWAYS be a need for a writing instrument, be it a pencil or a pen.

            What happens when the battery has failed while the kids are in class. Outlets for every child? They get to go home early?

            yes, there is an advantage in having tablets, but it is NOT a replacement for books and writing tools. The only people pushing that idea...are the ones who will profit the most IMO.

            What happens on a ship if the GPS goes out? You better hope you have someone on board who knows how to navigate the old fashioned way.

            100% reliance on technology will be the downfall for people, when they find they don't have access to electricity or wifi.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So thats about ...

              "What happens when the battery has failed while the kids are in class"

              The same argument that says "the autocar will never replace the horse and cabriolet, because the autocar is short in range and relies on petrol in a tank".

              We are 100% reliant on technology, and readers of this site really ought to understand that.

              1. Eradicate all BB entrants

                Re: So thats about ...

                @Ledswinger. So you have eradicated all manual writing implements from your daily life? Do you celebrate the anniversary of when last you wrote something down on something as archaic and a piece of paper?

                As for 100% reliant on technology? No one here is in a Wall-E inspired hover chair .... are you?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: So thats about ...@Eradicate all BB entrants

                  " So you have eradicated all manual writing implements from your daily life?"

                  Don't be a twit. Nobody has mooted that people won't be taught to write in the forseeable future, the discussion is about the progression, and what is needed for educational purposes. Writing by hand is for most people slow and laborious - a few can write quickly and well, most cannot. My own handwriting is particularly poor. Perhaps you believe that learning by rote, and copying out long passages by hand is part of the learning process - I believe that slows down understanding and assimilation of knowledge.

                  "As for 100% reliant on technology? No one here is in a Wall-E inspired hover chair .... are you?"

                  Maybe you're posting from some remote village in Afghanistan, devoid of electricity, running water or modern communications, and wiping your @rse with a stone. If that's the case then you are certainly not dependent upon technology. But I doubt that's the case, and if you think we aren't 100% dependant upon technology simply because we don't have hover chairs, then you're a fool. The whole of Western society is utterly dependant upon technology, excepting a few crofters or smallholders. Without technology most of the readers of this forum would have no useful function in society other than manual labour. Our food supply chain, our financial system, our healthcare, our communications, our energy supply, and even a good proportion of our entertainment all are 100% dependant upon technology. There's tiny bits around the edges would still work, but when the electricity or communications links to the systems break down, then there's no manual back up other than at the peripheries. How do you think 70m people survive on an island that can only feed about half that number from its own resources? Because of international trade in services, and an advanced food supply chain that spans the globe, both only possible through technology.

                  1. Eradicate all BB entrants

                    Re: So thats about ...@Eradicate all BB entrants

                    @Ledswinger. I think before quoting people then attempting to mock them you should define what you mean by technology. Your arguments give the impression that you view technology as anything electrical.

                    I think you will find your crofter and small-holders make use of technology as much as anyone. At some point throughout history the plow was new technology, the rotation of crops was a technological advance. We may through time change the methods we employ, such as fixing the plow to a tractor instead of horse, but that doesn't change the basic method and required understanding of the process.

                    And I think the insult regarding the readership of site being unable to be useful for any task other than manual labour (which I actually enjoy sometimes), demeans both us and those who have jobs classed as manual labour. I also think you will find that those classed as manual workers (Remember navvies? Those lovely manual labourers who built a network of canals to move goods around before the internet and telephones let us place orders from far away?) contribute a hell of a lot more to society than you or I ever could, and to me it seems you look down on them. Shame on you.

    2. Philip Lewis

      Anglophiles! (was Re: So thats about ...)

      Most of the world does not have English as their primary teaching language - get over it.

      Publishing & printing textbooks in minor languages is expensive! Try buying a library of textbooks for a university education written in a minor language sometime - think passing kidney stones.

      Publishing textbooks on ANY tablet is a solution to the first part of this expensive exercise, and it is not a one time saving.

      One might argue for an ePaper book reader, but looking forward, colourful eBooks on a tablet, with an interactive component are an obvious development eminently suitable to the educational environment. Add to that educational mind games etc. and there are many reasons to move toward a tablet solution.

  5. El_Fev

    You can always be sure....

    That whenever a story showing Apple making sales , that some android peabrain will come along , saying how if you go android you can get cheaper blah blah blah There's a reason why Apple makes billions a year and your commenting on a story about them from your mothers basement!

    1. Halfmad

      Re: You can always be sure....

      There's always an Apple fanboi banging on about money too.

      Then there's the lurkers like me who don't give a toss what brand it is or what OS is on it, as long as it's the best device for my needs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You can always be sure....

        Yes, except the sort of Fandroid moron who bleats about "get an Android" or "Install Linux" doesn't actually do much but play Tux racer and do GIT kernel updates every night for shits n giggles.

        God forbid anyone actually want to do something useful on a computer.

        1. frank ly

          @El_Fev Re: You can always be sure....

          I'm chained up, in the attic. It's a diverse community.

    2. DJO Silver badge

      Re: You can always be sure....


      I'm sure there's an Apple application that'll instruct you in the correct usage of "your" and "you're".

      In some cases the IOS kit will be better and in some cases it'll be the Android, and as unlikely as it sounds even Windows 8.x will be best for some jobs. However on every story there will be Apple blowhards extolling how the Apple device is best for everything.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In 12 months

    At least 50% of them will have broken screens.

    1. Lusty

      Re: In 12 months

      At least 50% of them will have had broken screens replaced through Applecare.

      There, corrected that for you.

  7. Camilla Smythe

    Presumably Mr Cook

    Will have something to say about Internet Censorship and Surveillance in Turkey.

    1. Eradicate all BB entrants

      Re: Presumably Mr Cook

      Did you miss the news about the China Mobile deal?

  8. Anonymous Coward 101

    Blimey. The Turkish economy has issues at the moment, and they cannot be solved by raking out $4.5bn on iPads (or Android equivalent!) for school children.

  9. 404

    Numbers and Sense

    15 million Turkish kids.

    Go here and buy 15 million certified refurbished Kindle Fire 16GB HD's for $108/each delivered (does Turkey have a Prime account? free shipping aye) which equals $1.62 billion obamabucks (worth fancy L .004 per buck ;).

    Root, flash to KitKat= $Profit$

    Saved Turkish economy hit with a 2.25 Billion in savings (rounded for the 'grease' money to make this happen lol)

    Just a thought... pretty stoked about my new(ish) Fire HD for $108-> Amazon didn't know they still had this sale going, had to give up address three times to confirm and yet the page is still up today. Comes in 2nd in a google search 'certified refurbished Kindle Fire HD'. Even have the big ones cheap w/year warranty.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Numbers and Sense

      Who would be the person rooting and flashing 15m devices then.

      1. 404

        Re: Numbers and Sense

        'Welcome to the World of Tablet Computing! We must be competitive and triumph over <insert non-whomever here> for our <insert cause here>. Your first task shall be to root and flash your new Android Device".

        There you go.


  10. W.O.Frobozz

    And yet

    Both of you fanboy idiots on either side of the aisle comparing penis size seem to be incapable of asking the 45bn dollar question: what makes anyone think a tablet of ANY brand is "good for education?" I've yet to see a single example where a stupid tablet has done anything other than provide distraction in the classroom. A school not far from me blew the budget a few years back first on Playbooks (don't laugh) and then, after throwing those in the landfill, on ipads (creating an even bigger crater in the school's budget). And yet Johnny still can't read or do basic maths.

    1. 404

      Re: And yet

      +1 for truth.

      Tabs are media consuming devices, not educational. Even with all the improvements, I still can't use one on the job, still need all the ports, tools, etc on my laptops. I tried too. Would be nice to leave backpack in truck, ya know?

      One Use in US: Common Core (whole other subject-> gov indoctrination) is online since no one has textbooks for the Feds' latest educational creation of 'critical thinking'*

      *oddest idea ever, no answers are wrong, they want to know *how* you came up with answer. I.E. 2+2 can equal 'Jello' if the kid can say why it means 'jello' to them. Coming Soon: Congress enacts law to regulate pi to '3'....


      1. fandom

        Re: And yet

        " Congress enacts law to regulate pi to '3'...."

        It could be worse: they could mandate the teaching of tau

    2. jof62

      Re: And yet

      Yes but you have probably only been looking at schools here, most other countries the kids want to learn

      not screw around in class

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's simple - if you want the best tablet you buy the iPad - if you want the cheapest tablet you may find an Android that is an acceptable compromise.

  12. mikeoregon

    Where Will They Get the Money?

    Benefits aside, Turkey just jumped their interest rate to 10% to avert a currency crisis because their central bank had run out of reserves to prop up the Lira, now falling against the dollar. Where in the midst of economic crisis will they come up with $4.5B to purchase any type of tablets?

  13. Mahou Saru

    I hope EDU get book/media discounts....

    Also I'd rather he put the $4.5B in creating more jobs opportunities for graduates and apprenticeship schemes for those who don't want/can't study. Then they can make the choice to throw money at Apple rather then the gov doing it for them via their much needed taxes!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much in foreign aid?

    Remind me, how much in foreign aid did we spend last year on Turkey again. Blimey, you'd have thought they have some better priorities to sort out inequality in their country...

    Stop it now, and get a refund...spend my tax pounds on our own children please to give them a future and advance in live...

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