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Apple offers 200GB iCloud deal for schools

Ordinary customers only get 5GB of storage free, but Apple's online sync service comes with 200GB for students.

Apple's Swift Playgrounds programming tutorial app running on an iPad Pro.

Apple's Swift Playgrounds programming tutorial app running on an iPad Pro.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple has a new perk to attract customers in the education business: 200GB of iCloud storage, a major step up from the 5GB ordinary Apple customers get.

Apple announced the deal at an event Tuesday at the Lane Tech High School in Chicago, where it also unveiled a new, more powerful iPad in an effort to re-establish itself in the classroom. Better cloud storage is a significant change given that Apple's biggest competition comes from Google's G Suite apps, free to schools and tightly integrated with Chromebook laptops. 

The company has long offered discounts on its products for education customers. The new iPad costs $299 for schools and students instead of $329 -- the same discount as with the old entry-level iPad, but with significantly better hardware. A MacBook Air laptop costs $849 instead of $999, and an iMac costs $1,049 instead of $1,099.

iPads were fleetingly a hot tool for tech-infused education, but Google's Chromebooks are proving popular with low prices, built-in keyboards and handy tools for school administrators. Apple meanwhile has wrestled for years with iPad declines, though sales did perk up over the holidays.

It's nice to sell products that help the next generation learn, but Apple stands to gain directly as today's students become tomorrow's customers. That's especially true with iPads, the leading product in the once-hot tablet category that's now more notable for declining sales.

Apple offers 200GB of iCloud for students, a big step up from the ordinary 5GB free level.

Apple offers 200GB of iCloud for students, a big step up from the ordinary 5GB free level.

James Martin/CNET

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