Apple unveils new iPad, software with eye on education market

Cheaper iPads in schools will be a huge win for Apple

Apple unveils new iPad, software with eye on education market

While it would have been nice to see some more updates to the design, that's not necessarily a bad thing: the 9.7-inch iPad is Apple's most popular model, with a screen that's reasonably sized without the bulk of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

U.S. tech giant Apple on Tuesday launched its new 9.7 inch iPad featured with Apple Pencil support at a special event held in Chicago.

The new iPad for schools comes with 200GB of free iCloud storage - up from 5GB.The device claims 10-hour long battery life, houses 8MP camera and supports 1080P HD video.

Apple's event was billed as an education forum with students in mind. The city is home to one of the largest school systems in the United States, and Apple expanded its "Everyone Can Code program" late a year ago to teach more students its Swift programming language.

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In the lead-up to Apple's announcements, there was great speculation as to how Apple might be able to position the iPad line-up to compete against Google Chromebooks, which are quite popular in USA educational institutions, and also the Microsoft Windows 10 S computing devices.

While education was the theme of its launch, the new iPad is for anyone.

Prices start at S$498 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only model, while the cellular one will cost you starting at S$698. Also, the reports from MacRumors suggest that there are chances of an additional keyboard to go with the new iPad but that would add to the device's cost. The Pencil will also be another $99 if you're looking to write or draw on your new iPad.

The new iPad comes in silver, space grey and a new gold finish colors. "And every aspect of iPad - from the display to the processing power to the cameras to the motion sensors - is created to make AR apps more magical than ever before", says the website.

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In their strategic move to popularize their brand among the next generation, Apple also announced new software for the classroom that included Schoolwork-an app for teachers to create and track assignments for students. The updated version of the tablet features support for the Apple Pencil, and it was specially crafted to suit creative student needs. In 2015, a Los Angeles school district planned to give every student in the city an iPad with preloaded curriculums.

As noted by Laptop Mag, the price for the iPad for schools is the same as that of the Asus Chromebook C213SA, and the Asus Chromebook C202SA is still cheaper at $223.10.

The iPad does have an app advantage, with more than two million apps in the App Store and more than 200,000 education apps. It is available in the 38 and 42mm variants, but this year, Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple is going to be introducing something different to the table this time around. Not only is Apple targeting large orders from schools with the iPad's low price point, school discounts, and Apple Pencil support, but Apple is also aiming to garner mass-market interest from consumers; the 9.7-inch iPad is Apple's best-selling iPad.

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