Cheaper iPad

Apple will try to go after the education sector with a line of low-cost iPad models designed to compete with Google’s Chromebook lineup.

In its first major event for 2018, Apple will hit Chicago to lay down its plans for the education demographic, which includes students and teachers. The forthcoming event will mark Apple’s first education-focused event since 2012, when it launched a tool for designing ebooks for the iPad.

Cheaper iPad For Students

It’s not exactly clear just how cheaper this rumored iPad will be than the company’s current iPad lineup, but Bloomberg reports it’ll certainly appeal to the education market. Alongside the new device, Apple is also poised to launch education software.

Previous rumors claimed Apple was going to launch a $259 budget iPad this year as an attempt to win back customers in the education sector, most of whom have gone over to either Google or Microsoft for their technology needs at least in terms of classroom devices, that is. A cheaper iPad will most certainly help Apple achieve its classroom ambitions, especially since price plays a major role for students who may already be spending a lot of school supplies and textbooks in the first place.

Late CEO Steve Jobs made the education market a priority for Apple early in the company’s life, but as it slowly pivoted to creating mass-market premium products, Google and Microsoft both swept up the classroom market with affordable laptops, tablets, and hybrid machines.

Looking at the numbers, it’s clear Apple has plenty of reasons to worry. Apple only accounted for 17 percent of the total mobile computers American students used in kindergarten through high school, according to Futuresource Consulting’s Q3 data. Chromebooks and Android tablets accounted for 60 percent, meanwhile. Windows PCs held 22 percent.

Cheaper MacBook Still Coming

Apple is also still developing a cheaper MacBook, Bloomberg reports. It will cost less than $1,000 and is poised to replace the aging MacBook Air, which hasn’t received any major upgrades design-wise in years. It doesn’t have a Retina Display like its other Mac siblings, for starters.

This cheaper MacBook in question probably won’t be unveiled during the event, however.

The education market is a crucial demographic to appeal to, and Apple knows that. As students learn to use one type of device, they’ll most likely keep using that brand and remain loyal to it as they transition into the workforce, notes Bloomberg. Apple’s strongest suit has always been in brand loyalty, and it knows that to instill loyalty, it needs to start with the young ones.