Was it, though? I didn’t find it interesting at all.
Refresh of cheap iPad.
Exact same price, $329. (-$30 for schools).
Updated SoC to A10, now works with pencil. No keyboard connector. That’s it.
Third-party pencil support. Logitech releasing one for $49.
Bunch of education shit that none of us care about. Hand-outs, making books, pencil markup, 200GB iCloud storage (managed education accounts only), etc. None of it matters because the iPad still costs $299 for schools, plus $99 for a mandatory keyboard case that still needs to be separately charged, plus $50 for a stylus. While Chromebooks start at $199. So schools aren’t going to bite.
They seem to have convinced themselves to compete on features and not price - but for education price is the feature.
I’d put more money on a guess that at some point over at Spaceship Apple someone called the decision to release a $300 (US) iPad heroic. The whole event is kind of hard to understand tbh. Like they think the way to increase market share is just expand the RDF.
Well I think manageability, transience, and price are the primary features, of equal importance.
Apple is working on manageability and may well have made strides there. Thing is, iOS still isn’t transient, meaning if a student leaves their Chromebook at home they can login to their Google account on any other Chromebook and get right to work. Or learning, I guess.
It was a curious event. Going all-in on iPad makes a certain amount of sense, and a cheaper iPad with pencil support is decent. I don’t really care that it was an education-only event. It was pretty clear this was going to be a low-key event. However, when iPad-based educators like Fraser Speirs go “meh”, that is concerning.
The problem is Google gets them both ways: the price of the Chromebook, and the Docs suite is pretty good. Unfortunately, Docs, iWork and Office are all lacking features the main versions have. Google throws the web view to the iOS app. I was working on a project for my graduate class this weekend and no version of a word processor on iOS lets me create a Table of Contents. Word can at least update one.
Has Apple ever really competed on price in any market, though? They’ve had plenty of education events before and I don’t recall them having any sort of a special deal (other than the ‘educator/student discount’). I don’t think that’s how they work.
It reminds me of the way they approach non-mobile gaming. They’ve always spouting some lip service about how gaming is really important, a big priority, here are come cool APIs, and then they put out machines with video cards that are … well, let’s say uninspired. So it’s important to them but at the same time not important.
I guess the bottom line is, I don’t understand how Apple thinks!
I was listening to some of Upgrade on the ride home, and Myke Hurley mentioned feeling conflicted that Apple’s Vision for the Future, has a subtitle of “For those who can afford it” I see where he is coming from.
My reaction to the announcements is it takes a decently-funded and technical school to be able to go iPad-only. I don’t think the “what’s a computer?” ads are disingenuous, but a Chromebook has the advantage of being cheaper and still a laptop form factor that teachers can understand.
I don’t know how much traction Apple wants with this stuff. I don’t know what their success criteria and measurements are. Is it just “we sold x amount more iPads,” or are they also measuring adoption of the new back-end tools.
Here’s a thing I don’t understand and I’ll ask if any other QT3ers have the same problem:
What about the 2.4GHz interference with equipping a classroom full of wireless tablets and stuff? Anyone who’s been to a convention will know how bad the wifi can be with a high density concentration of devices. Even our call centre with 50-some computers/staff have problems with BT headsets + wireless keyboards + mice.