Apple was already making solid inroads into its core education market with the iPad 2, but last week’s debut of a new iPad makes the older model even more appealing.
That’s because the new iPad is being released at the same $499 starting price as its predecessor, while Apple continues to offer the iPad 2 starting at a reduced price of $399.
“Like all school systems, budget is one of our largest concerns behind student achievement. As we look to expand purchases, the discount on the iPad 2 is very attractive,” say Felicia Moschella, assistant superintendent for business and finance at Abbington public schools in Massachusetts. “I’m not sure the new iPad is going to be worth the extra expense for us.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Vineet Madan, VP of new ventures at McGraw-Hill Education, who thinks the discounted iPad 2 will at the very least lead to more schools considering deploying iPads for their students.
“I’ve long thought that the tipping-point price for a tablet is between $200 and $300. Now that the entry-level iPad 2 has dropped by $100, and it’s now $399 for a 16 gigabyte version, we’ll see much more uptake,” Madan said in an interview with Talking Points Memo.
McGraw Hill already has a line of five K-12 iBook textbooks for the iPad 2 and over 50 iPad textbooks for higher education and the professional market through an app via partner Inkling, that TMP reports McGraw Hill Education has heavily invested in.
Inkling offers interactive features that give the online textbooks built-in videos, audio, flash cards and 3D models.
Madan said McGraw-Hill’s content performs “incredibly well” on the iPad 2, but he also sees great potential in the new iPad for education, particularly with its Retina display.
“Extraordinarily high resolutions really unlock the potential of ‘pinch to zoom’ functionality,” Madan told TPM. “You can already see this to a large extent in iBooks and on Inkling’s books, but the future will enable completely mind-blowing experiences for students. Imagine zooming in again and again on a cell structure in biology, for example, and seeing every level with the same crispness and clarity.”
There were several reports that Apple would name its latest iPad the iPad HD, but Apple ended up keeping the original name, referring to the new model simply as, "the new iPad." Like the iPad 2, Apple's first mass market computer was a "2" model, the Apple II, that was hugely popular in K-12 school systems in the 1980s.