iPad Mini event to include education push, report says

The company is reportedly often meeting with schools to discuss the iPad's appeal.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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Apple's iPad Mini could be a solid way for the company to continue its push into the education market, according to a new report.

At tomorrow's iPad Mini event, Apple will highlight the device's appeal to educational institutions, Bloomberg is reporting, citing a source. The source didn't say how Apple will flex its educational muscle, but it might center on the device's size and reduced cost.

Apple's iPad Mini will likely be unveiled at tomorrow's special event. The device is expected to ship with a 7.85-inch screen. The appeal to educational institutions might be its cost, which should be considerably less than the current iPad, which starts at $499. Some reports have even pegged the iPad Mini's cheapest price at $249, putting it within striking distance of cash-strapped schools.

The iPad push is already on, according to Bloomberg's sources. All across the U.S., Apple's sales staff meets often with administrators to bring its tablet into schools.

"Apple has got the world's biggest education sales force," Tyler Bosmeny, CEO of Clever, an education software company, told Bloomberg.

That effort seems to be working. Last month, analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co., revealed that total PC education shipments fell by 13.9 percent to 265,000 units in the June quarter. During the same period, Apple sold nearly 1 million iPads, leading Wolf to argue that the company's slate is "cannibalizing" PC sales in the K-12 market.

For its part, Apple has kept its efforts breaking into the educational market somewhat quiet. However, back in January, the company made a significant education push with an event in New York unveiling iBooks 2, a "new textbook experience" for the iPad.

iBooks 2 is designed to make textbooks interactive, featuring video, word definitions, and other features. Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing noted at the event that there were 20,000 educational apps in use at that time. The company had also sold 1.5 million iPads to education customers.

CNET's live coverage of Apple's event next Tuesday

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