More affordable iPad unveiled, and it works with Apple Pencil
The new, cheaper 9.7-inch iPad will now support the Apple Pencil. In the image above, the input device shows how a user can dissect a virtual frog.
Dubai - Tech giant charges further into education sector with new innovations.
Apple realises the challenges and opportunities in the education sector.
They've learned their lessons, and now they're ready to take everyone to school in a more interactive way.
The world's most valuable company unveiled a new, more affordable iPad aimed at enticing educators and students to use Apple's growing portfolio of education tools.
And the 9.7-inch device - which retains the looks of its predecessors - comes with a key feature from the company's top-end iPad Pro: support for the Apple Pencil. It will work with updated versions of iOS apps such as Pages, Numbers and Keynote.
Other specifications include an 8MP main camera, an LTE option, GPS, compass and the A10 Fusion chip, which is used in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
Before this launch, three iPad classes were presently being offered - the fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad, the 7.9-inch iPad mini 4 and the high-end iPad Pro, which supports the Apple Pencil and starts at Dh2,624.
Apple says that in the UAE the new iPad - which is essentially a toned-down iPad Pro - the 32GB Wi-Fi model will be priced at Dh1,349, while the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular option will go for Dh1,849. The Apple Pencil is sold separately for Dh399.
Schools, meanwhile, can purchase the new iPad starting at Dh1,294.65 and the Pencil for Dh359.10.
Free iCloud storage for students, meanwhile, has been dramatically bumped up from 5GB to 200GB.
"We've always believed that people with passion can change the world," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the start of his keynote speech, noting the several demonstrations held by students over the past days in the United States.
"[We] strongly believe that technology has a role to play in the classroom."
Apple also boosted its apps-for-education offerings; among them, creating digital books - iBooks Author is used on a Mac for this - will also become available on the iPad.
The company's augmented reality (AR) stable was also updated. Among them was Free Rivers, an app from the World Wildlife Fund, which lets a user view an environment and - based on a demonstration - see how building a dam affects the flow of a river. Froggipedia, meanwhile, allows one to see the inner parts of a frog for study purposes - and lets you dissect it with the Apple Pencil.
he tech giant - which Cook says education has been a huge part for 40 years - has "never stopped working" on making platforms for educators.
At the event - held at Lane Tech College Prep High School and which started at 7pm UAE time on Tuesday - Cook flaunted the ways iPads help students, and said that "today, we're going to take those experiences even further".
Apple has made no secret of its intentions to dig deeper in to the education sector. The event in Chicago - which has the third-largest public school district in the US - doubles down on the company's announcement in December that it had struck a deal with the city's government to teach about 500,000 students to code using Apple's Swift platform, a language that creates mobile apps.
At the event, it was announced that Chicago Public Schools, in collaboration with Apple, is teaching coding to 370,000 students.
That Apple has been revving up its community offerings at its Apple Stores globally - most notably its Today at Apple programme - should complement its new devices.
And with the new, budget-friendly device, the tech giant is also aiming to crack the market being dominated by Google's Chromebook; in 2013, Apple accounted for about half of mobile devices being used in US classrooms, but has since declined after the Alphabet unit launched cheaper laptops that run on the Chrome operating system, as well as those from Microsoft.
Apple says its has more than 200,000 education apps on its App Store.
iPad sales peaked in the first quarter of 2014, when Apple shipped over 26.04 million of them. Since then, the device has endured a roller-coaster ride, but with a noticeable decline.
Despite this, Apple is still the leader in the tablet segment; International Data Corp figures show that while the overall tablet market declined seven per cent in 2017, Apple inched up three per cent and leads the industry with a share of about 25 per cent.
(With inputs from The Verge)