The heavily leaked Apple iPad is now officially launched and as expected Apple is offering the new iPad with a refreshed 9.7-inch screen and Apple Pencil support to schools priced at $299 and to consumers for $329. The keynote was very Education focused and it showed Apple’s intention to target the school and college audiences. It’s just about the same as the basic iPad it replaces. The optional Apple Pencil will be priced at $89 for schools and the regular $99 price for consumers. It is not the budget $259 budget iPad that was rumored but is definitely a steal for the price. The updated iPad will be available in Apple stores today, in silver, space gray, and a new gold finish. The tablet will include Touch ID, an HD FaceTime camera, 10 hours of battery life, an 8-megapixel rear camera, LTE option, and Apple’s A10 Fusion chip.
As for availability, the iPad (2018) is available for order from March 27 and will hit stores later this week in more than 25 countries, namely, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK, and the US. India, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, and other countries and regions will follow in April, with South Korea and other countries and regions following in May.
Still, an iPad with an Apple Pencil and keyboard is going to run close to $450, which is more expensive than cheaper Chromebooks that are starting to support styluses. Google is also starting to introduce Chrome OS tablets, so a $299 iPad could soon come under even greater pressure in classrooms. Apple’s vice president of product marketing, Greg Joswiak, revealed there are 200,000 apps made for education and that Apple’s most popular iPad is the 9.7-inch model. Apple is attempting to capitalize on these stats with its new iPad that supports the Apple Pencil.
Apple also announced a brand new app for teachers called Schoolwork, which helps them create assignments and also see student progress. Alongside, the Classroom app, formerly only on iOS, will make its way to macOS. Apple also announced that teachers and students with Managed Apple IDs will get access to 200GB of free iCloud storage, up from 5GB.
New Version of iWork is now available. Users can now add drawings to Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, and a Smart Annotation feature has also been added to Pages. At the event, Apple also announced the ability to create digital books will be available soon inside Pages on the iPad, helping teachers create books for their students – this will be coming soon to Pages on iOS, macOS, and iCloud.com. All three of these iWork apps will be preloaded for free on the new iPad model. The company also announced new versions of GarageBand and Clips, with the former gaining a kids-focused sound pack, and the latter getting filters and posters meant for kids.
All the improvements that apple has made will surely tempt the students and teachers to adopt the new iPad. Although the sales of iPad have declined over the years it is yet to be seen whether a $30 price cut will have a significant effect on the sale figures.