back to article Apple turns hat around, sits backwards on chair, pitches iPad to schools

Apple is trying to reclaim its status as the cool kid in class with a fresh round of products aimed at the education market. The Cupertino music distributor chose a Chicago school as its venue on Tuesday when execs introduced a new iPad model along with a new iWork suite and a set of Apps aimed at classrooms. Pencil works its …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tim's in iCloud Cookoo land. The Pencil needs to be $25 dollars, not $89 for school use.

    There is no way this will sell to schools with a price tag of $89 per Pencil. Tim's in iCloud Cookoo land.

    The profit margin on the Pencil must be just crazy.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Tim's in iCloud Cookoo land. The Pencil needs to be $25 dollars, not $89 for school use.

      You've clearly not read the Reg long enough to know when to read between the lines, or know when the article author has omitted information.

      A $50 Logitech stylus was announced at the Apple presentation.

      1. RudderLessIT
        Thumb Down

        Re: Tim's in iCloud Cookoo land. The Pencil needs to be $25 dollars, not $89 for school use.

        There is a $USD50 pencil option?!?! Thank FireTruck - I was worried it would be out of reach to most parents.

        To recap, here are the main differences between the new 9.7-inch iPad and the previous generation:

        it supports Apple Pencil

        it has the A10 Fusion chip

        it comes in a new shade of gold that's slightly pinker (though not as pink as the original rose gold)

        Such innovation.

        Tell me, can my twins both use it for school work? (No - only one iTunes account)

        Is it a device that lots of people use in the workplace/not for electronic babysitting? (No - just no)

        Will there be a discount to make it more school friendly? (No)

        Does it come with a keyboard? (No)

        I could go on, but really, like the product, no one cares.

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          The twins paradox

          The Inquirer says there is a "Shared iPad support" feature, is that any good or is it education only?

          But, if they are twins then why does more than one of them need to do the home work? No one will be able to tell.

          The Inquirer also says the price is $329 or £320, which doesn't look right. I'll ask.

    2. Jove Bronze badge

      Re: Tim's in iCloud Cookoo land. The Pencil needs to be $25 dollars, not $89 for school use.

      So if the pricing works for Apple, why do they need to change it?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm sure Steve Job's original line was "A stylus? Over my dead body!"

    Funnily enough....

    (Yup, I am a happy Surface did you guess)

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Pencil....

      He also once said sarcastically, when asked if the next iPod would play video: 'Yeah, and it'll make toast too'.

      Bring able to switch horse midstream was one of his business strengths. The majority of us here have phones that remain usable even if we drop the stylus (if there is one, Galaxy Note users included)

      Apparently Jobs hated the name iMac too until he was convinced by an underling... yet the nomenclature has served their bottom dollar well.

    2. David Lawton

      Re: Pencil....

      Actually it was a stylus in the context of using it to operate a mobile phone, but hey you just keep telling your self lies.....

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Oh, the irony

    Just yesterday Google announced a ChromeTab aimed.... right at Schools.

    Sorry Apple, the cost of the Google (and other Chrome based kit) is just so tempting for cash strapped schools.

    Google 50 : Apple 0

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Oh, the irony

      Calling the score as the starting whistle is blown?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh, the irony

      The Google education offerings are also so much better, more comprehensive, easier to manage, and totally free of slurp.

      A Chromebook is a no brainer for education, it's a perfect fit.

    3. LittleG

      Re: Oh, the irony

      and if you don't mind google siphoning kids data off and a device that will be worth zero in a couple of years time.

      P.S I know plenty of schools that use iPad. public schools too.

      P.P.S watch the keynote event if you want to see it's not just about the iPad but new apps and existing app updates too.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next station, Brave New World, Huxleyville

    "When you combine the power of iPad, the creativity of Apple Pencil, over a million iPad apps in the App Store, the rich curriculum in Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create, and unique Classroom and Schoolwork apps that support students and help schools manage technology in the classroom, we believe we can amplify learning and creativity in a way that only Apple can."

    Meanwhile, outside of Corpodreamland, from "Another Triumph of Progressivism: "Why Is San Francisco the State’s Worst County for Black Student Achievement?"

    From Stanford’s Public Policy Program:

    Why Is San Francisco the State’s Worst County for Black Student Achievement?

    OCT 27 2017


    … Across the district, 19 percent of them [San Francisco public school black students] passed the state test in reading, compared to 31 percent of black students statewide. The result: San Francisco, a progressive enclave and beacon for technological innovation, has the worst black student achievement of any county in California. …

    “Our African-American students are talented and capable and extremely intelligent,” Dickey said. “We’re not seeing that reflected in our scores, so we continue to believe that this is a problem with us as adults that we’re working to fix.”


    One strategy designed to boost academic achievement across the district and better prepare students to join a modern workforce is a citywide focus on science, technology, engineering and math instruction. Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School anchors that effort in the Bayview.

    The gleaming $55 million campus with state-of-the-art laboratories and floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic city views opened to fanfare in 2015 on the site of Willie Brown College Preparatory Academy, which was under-enrolled, had low test scores and was crumbling before the city tore it down in 2011. …

    Last academic year, at a school named for the city’s first black mayor, only 10 percent of black students passed the state test in reading and 2 percent passed math—an improvement from the prior school year when none of the school’s black students passed the math exam. …

  5. Jim84

    Apple ignoring feedback

    Schools claimed students found the iPads too difficult to type on so... Apple does nothing to improve those crappy plastic keyboards for the iPads.

    You could make a better iPad keyboard by having two hinges on it to hold the iPad and having the bottom of the keboard slide out backwards between them for mobility.

    If Apple are worried about these improvements cannibalising sales of the MacBook Air and Pro, go dobe the path that Dell is taking with it’s XPS line and remove the bezels to get a bigger screen in a smaller device. The 13” models could become 15” models and the 15” models could become 17” models with the same form factor.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Apple ignoring feedback

      Other than promoting 3rd party keyboards?

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Apple ignoring feedback

      The idea of removing bezels for the sake of it makes less sense for an object that is held in two hands. At the size it is, an extra inch or so in width makes no difference to the ability to stash it in a rucksack or on a coffee table.

      Reducing bezel size is more important where the constraints on width are more important - i.e a handheld phone or jacket-pocket phablet

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if students using Chromebook in school is bad for Apple?

    Sure, they lose sales not selling to schools but maybe that makes Google stuff seem like 'schoolwork' to kids, making them more likely to choose Apple rather than Google when it comes to phones?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: I wonder if students using Chromebook in school is bad for Apple?

      Apple understands service lock-in more than most. The US school and college market have traditionally been seen as gateways for future business decisions hence the plethora of cheap licences from MS, Oracle, et al. It's also structured nicely for advantageous tax write-offs: where do you think the rebates come from.

      That said it's not that big a market but Google's apparent success has obviously shaken Cupertino a bit and competition is good.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wonder if students using Chromebook in school is bad for Apple?

        Apple hasn't been big in schools for many years though, once Windows pretty much owned the market it became very difficult for schools to buy anything Apple. The iPad was their first real opening into that market in a generation.

  7. Lee D

    Too little, too late.

    After dealing with DEP, Apple School Manager, and just about every possible way of supervising and locking down iPads, including Cisco Meraki management, my school just gave up and binned them.

    Why? ATROCIOUS AND APPALLING customer service. Literally no education department, nobody to speak to, nobody interested, asking for "the iPad serial number" when you're discussing 500 iPads all suddenly not signing into iCloud, etc. and ultimately culminating in a recorded-delivery written complaint, which resulted in a phone from "The Head of Written Complaints" who refused to confirm their name, reply in writing, or state the simplest of facts when they would not allow us to create new iTunes accounts (with a huge end-run using Apple School Manager and all kinds and ultimately never being successfully because of their "security" procedure which locks out an IP from creating accounts after a certain number a week... 5 years running of "we'll grant you a 30-day exemption only", which solved the immediate problem but was bloody stupid for a school that gets new pupils all year round, they refused to do so any more.

    And if you can't be bothered to confirm ANYTHING in writing in response to a written complaint (I asked the guy if Apple could afford a printer, but he refused to answer), places like schools and businesses can't do business with you.

    We WERE the talk of the local schools, with 1:1 iPad allocation. Now they form less than a quarter of our devices, among Chromebooks and Android tablets, both of which are well-supported and much easier to lock down using the Google Admin tools (which are free, but we just have to buy one Chromebook licence per Chromebook if we want to use them, which is already half the price of an iPad anyway).

    Apple literally, after years and years and years of warning, couldn't be bothered to do anything more than put us on the same phone line as the grannies phoning up about forgetting their passcode. We literally NEVER received a useful answer from them and it was all guesswork and workarounds around their utter-shite. When they then destroyed the business relationship by even failing to provide details like head office address, names, handling a complaint formally, etc. then they were pulled, despite being the headmaster's favourite show-off line (and he's a mad Apple fan).

    Senior team took ONE meeting with my contact log with them and the number of solutions provided (zero), plus witnessing my phone call with Mr Head of Written Complaints, and they ditched and revoked 5 years of investment within the hour.

    Don't do business with Apple, they've never cared about such things. They are there to make as much money as possible from personal users and couldn't care less. Schools are ultra-ignored, the "famous" ones that are pushing Apple kit? They usually have an Apple centre on site specifically to try to convince other schools to use them (while also getting services that NOBODY else can obtain).

    Google, on the other hand, has always supported, helped, and spoken to schools directly despite most of them not paying Google a penny.

    Tens of thousands of pounds of hardware in the bin, not to mention about £10k worth of app licenses. Not a penny more, however. Orders of the management.

    You wanna help schools? Shove it, Apple. You had more than enough chance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Very heartfelt, I'm guessing...

      Very heartfelt and too close to reality for you to have made it up. I'm guessing Dave126 marked you down. Apple really don't like criticism, even when it is completely justified with a rational outline of the problem.

      I like iPads, but completely agree regards your experience. Apple's profit methods are like oil and water regards Educational use. They don't mix with austerity, and funding cuts hitting (UK) schools.

    2. Juan Inamillion

      Apple uk

      As you mention '£10k worth' I assume you're in the UK.

      And that means dealing with Apple UK.

      Who have been a bunch of twunts for as long as I can remember (as an 'independent Apple consultant' for 20 odd years). Meeting up with other independents, much much bigger than me, at Apple's headquarters at Stockley Park confirmed that Apple had no real interest and, no, you can never get a name.

    3. TVU

      "You wanna help schools? Shove it, Apple. You had more than enough chance"

      Through a combination of market neglect and poor customer service (as in your unfortunate case), Apple has now surrendered the lead in educational computing to Chromebooks. I suspect they've left it much too late to stage a significant comeback not least because their prices are still too high and uncompetitive.

  8. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Studies show...

    ...that computers 'do not improve' pupil results. However, it does improve computer and software makers financial results.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Studies show...

      More properly trained teachers, parents that read to small children, books in home, smaller class sizes. Laptops & tablets make education worse. About the only SW fit for purpose for education is wordprocessing & spreadsheet, though webbrowser is handy if the kids know how to research rather than copy/paste wikipedia. There are a few niche applications that are useful, like CAD, schematic capture, programming IDE, Planetarium style SW etc, for specialist subjects. All more available in decent free versions on desktop Linux & Windows, not iOS, Android or Win Mobile.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Studies show...

        >Laptops & tablets make education worse. About the only SW fit for purpose for education is wordprocessing & spreadsheet,

        I tried to make this argument on Edugeek (for anyone that doesn't know, a forum for school tech staff). Although some people agreed, most did not, and it didn't take long for the "I.T education consultants" to try to rubbish the results of various studies which prove IT doesn't really have a noticeable impact on results.

        I have worked in IT educaitonal tech for nearly a decade, I enjoy the environment, even though the pay is rubbish and we can't really afford anyone good. I consider myself good. I have worked outside education also earning a lot more, but went back! I have seen how the introduction of more and more portable devices, has resulted in teachers becoming lazy. And I mean the teacher sits at the front of the class, while students play various games that are meant to teach them, it is becoming more and more common. That isn't teaching. Not all are like that to be clear, but it is becoming more common!

        The amount of money schools burn on software and subscription to education websites is madness, and don't get me started on schools buying Apple hardware, a vanity project without question. We had a major argument with the design department when their computers came up for replacement, they demanded Apple hardware, in the end they won, and we spent double the amount getting them in, less than a month into the new term, "how do I access the CAD software?". Err you can't, in only runs on windows, you were told this over and over again in writing before the Apple tech was signed off. In the end, we erased the Apple OS, and installed windows. Let them get on with it. Just remember, many of the very people who make and design tech, over the pond in silicon valley, choose to adopt schools without IT for their children.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love Apple.

  10. Mage Silver badge

    models will also use the Apple SIM

    An idea that should never have been permitted. It's designed to give more info and control to Apple. I have a watch that works as BT AND phone etc and has SIM (not smallest size) and microSD, doesn't need a mothership smartphone. The space argument is a lie.

  11. 0laf Silver badge

    Is it enterprise aware?

    Does it support multiple users on a single device?

    Are you doing your usual and configuring everything so that the kids need personal iTunes accounts and an individual device each before this will work? If so sod off and come back when you have something that is fit for purpose.

  12. IneptAdept

    Price Doesn't Matter

    The price doesn't matter to the school.

    My eldest who goes to an academy was told he would need an iPad for some lessons and that the school dictated this.

    When I queried how he would afford such a luxury, they explained that I could purchase it on a finance plan and they would happily lock it down etc so it could only be used for school work.

    So I would get the privilege of buying an iPad at an inflated cost and not be able to use anything other than school work on it.

    I along with about 100 other parents refused, why should we pay nie on £600 just so my child can learn.

    I explained that he would have a chromebook and that was that.

    It took the school 2 years to stop trying to push it as a requirement

  13. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    I am about due for an eye test.

    Reading more carefully, I see that Classroom is not "the cheat App for student iPads".

    I bet customers would like that, though. ;-)

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