If the rumors about the arrival are true, this afternoon Apple should introduce the new iPad Mini to society. The new device will be smaller than the current iPad and could have its focus on the education market , but above all on keeping the iPad’s competition at bay, which is starting to make Apple sick.
The iPad has no real competitor in the 10-inch market. Apple continues to quietly dominate this segment, but the same is not true of the smaller tablet sector. Amazon and Google are hurting with their Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7. Tablets with decent capacities and a starting price that is less than half of what an iPad costs. With these features it is normal that they are able to be stealing market share from Apple, since many people want a tablet, but cannot afford to spend what the most basic iPad costs.
The iPad Mini could be the perfect device for the classroom
The iPad Mini, could be a perfect fit for this sector. A smaller tablet, but also cheaper. Rumors talk about different prices, but the one that seems to have more acceptance is the one that talks about $329 starting price. More expensive than the competition’s models ($199), but it’s an Apple product, a product that will meet expectations and, to be honest: people don’t want a tablet, they want an iPad .
However, Apple will not introduce the iPad Mini in this way. It will present the iPad Mini as a perfect device, a device we all need and a device that will be able to fulfill all our dreams. This is Apple’s way of selling and it is working incredibly well for them at the moment.
Rumors mention over and over that Apple could target its new tablet to the education market and in a way this could be a very good idea. For years there has been talk of projects to bring new technologies, of opting for digital media instead of textbooks and of making teaching much more interactive, fun, participatory. That is, to make students really interested in what they are doing and to make the learning experience much better.
Many schools tried to introduce the computer into the classroom without much success. The teachers were not prepared and were not trained enough to take advantage of it, the maintenance of the equipment was quite expensive and even then it was still necessary to use paper textbooks, so the costs (for the schools and for the families) shot up. Then the iPad arrived and in some cases it was used, although the price was still quite high and the projects that were started in this field ended up being closed due to lack of funds and not being able to reach all the students in the centres (at least in Spain).
Now comes the iPad Mini, an easy to carry device, with a not so high price and that many families could buy (especially if we think of eliminating textbooks and replacing them with the new Apple tablet). In addition, it could be the schools themselves who buy the tablets and then distribute them to families, with large orders Apple often offers discounts. The AppStore is full of interesting applications for education, the iBook Store is there and the educational books that can be created to be distributed through this platform can include all kinds of multimedia materials (video, audio, photography, image, interactive graphics, etc, etc, etc…)
Wouldn’t it make some sense if Apple could finally get into the classroom? It certainly has the perfect ecosystem to do so. Its products are high quality, well-functioning, don’t tend to ” hang up ” (something that would cause delays in class) and could become a much more interactive way for students to become more interested in classes.
Let’s hope that if Apple finally wants to focus the iPad Mini on the education sector, the latter will at least be interested in the product and we will see interesting initiatives. Maybe Apple’s tablet won’t end up taking the cat out of the bag, but hopefully they will at least be able to open the eyes of those responsible for education around the world.
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