Apple is doubling down that the iPad will be the future of education. Apple unveiled a new, cheaper iPad model for as low as $299, aimed at students from elementary school to college. The new 9.7-inch iPads will be compatible with Apple Pencil stylus, feature Apple’s second-latest processor chip and support for more than 200,000 education apps, Apple revealed Tuesday morning.
The iPad is available at $299 for schools and $329 for consumers. Students also will get a $10 discount for the Apple Pencil, costing $89. The school-focused price will be the cheapest for any iPad in the market.
Apple unconventionally chose to announce the new iPad outside of its headquarters in Cupertino and its past venues in San Jose and San Francisco, and instead hosted the product event at Lane Tech High School in Chicago. Chicago’s public school district partnered with Apple last December to teach nearly 500,000 students how to code using Swift, Apple’s in-house coding language.
Apple’s latest event was a pushback to the growing presence of Google Chromebooks in classrooms across America. Chromebooks, which can be as cheap as $149 and support Google’s software services such as Google Docs and Drive, now make up more than half of all computer shipments to K-12 classrooms in the United States in 2017, according to the data firm Futurebooks Consulting.
“We believe that our place at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts makes it possible to create and amplify our creativity,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “This is something only Apple can do.”
Apple’s vice president of product marketing Greg Joswiak touted that the new iPad with its A10 Fusion chip was “more powerful than most PC laptops and virtually every Chromebook.”
Google on Monday, a day before Apple’s announcement, unveiled its Chrome OS tablet made by Acer. The tablet, like the new…