Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is preparing to release an inexpensive iPad and education software next week to compete against Alphabet’s Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), according to Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Apple’s first product launch event will take place on Tuesday at Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago, marking the company’s first time of launching product geared towards education since 2012.
Bloomberg’s report says that Apple’s new initiative is to win back students and teachers from competitors Google and Microsoft after Apple changed its focus.
Steve Jobs made education a priority for Apple in its early stages, but later on, the company began to transition into a mass-market and higher margin products. Google and Microsoft capitalized on it and began to launch inexpensive products for schools.
Apple accounted for 17 percent of mobile computing shipments to American students from kindergarten through high school, said Bloomberg, citing Futuresource Consulting. Google’s Chromebooks and Android tablets held 60 percent of the market share, while Windows PCs held 22 percent.
Apple sells its Macbook Air laptops for $999 and iPads for $329, as opposed to Google who sells Chromebooks for as low as $200. Apple has progressively increased its prices, while its competitors were able to slash prices to make their products affordable for students.
While the new laptops and iPads will cost much less than the current prices as well as possibly replacing them, the products will not be available for some time, said Bloomberg.
Apple’s product showcase will take place in Chicago on March 27, 2018.