Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has toured some of Silicon Valley’s top companies to decide who will finally take the cat out of the bag with the school modernization program that seeks to replace the textbooks of 42,000 Turkish schools with 12 million tablets that has Apple, Google and Microsoft as its top candidates.
The FATIH project was born in 2010 and during its pilot phase the government tested 8,000 tablets from Samsung and General Mobile with the students. The President of Turkey met with Tim Cook last year and a few months ago he received a visit from John Couch, Apple’s Vice President for Education.
It is estimated that the FATIH project will cost between 3 and 4 billion dollars , so it is not surprising that the three Silicon Valley giants are putting all their eggs in one basket to try to win the bid.
Apple has a long history with the educational world and in January of last year they took that relationship even further with the launch of the interactive book creation tool iBooks Author and the update of iBooks for iOS with support of this new format adopted by not a few publishers for their textbooks.
But she’s not alone in the effort. Just last week Google announced Google Play for Education , a somewhat green initiative which our colleagues from Xataka Android may have spoken about better than I did but which ultimately pursues the same goal: to fill schools with their devices.
And finally we have the third one in discord: Microsoft and its Surface, perhaps the one that has more crude given the scarce adoption it has but that perhaps will surprise by reaching some kind of wider agreement or resorting to strongly subsidizing its tablets. So, if you pay Nokia to use their mobile operating system on your phone, what won’t they do for a direct sale?