The Apple March 27 event is quickly approaching, and many are wondering what exactly we’ll see announced from the company. Expect new iPads and more to be announced at this upcoming education-centric conference.
As mentioned above, the star of the show for the Apple March 27 event is likely going to be the iPad. Apple has made a big deal out of their partnership with Chicago schools, and has recently refocused the marketing around their iPad line with a somewhat controversial commercial where a young girl accomplishes everything she needs to get done on the tablet, and doesn’t seem to know what a computer is when asked. While the iPad is probably not yet at the point where it can completely replace a Mac or PC, it’s certainly an excellent tool both for entertainment and education – and this event will likely focus on the latter. Expect a lower-priced iPad to be announced, making the devices more accessible for schools and making Apple a more viable option for integration into the average school system.
The Apple March 27 event was announced just a little while ago with an invitation reading “Join us to hear creative new ideas for teachers and students…Let’s take a field trip.” The event will be held at the Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. We expect Apple to make at least a few major announcements about their product lines – specifically focusing on iOS devices and features that can be used to enhance the educational experience. We shouldn’t expect a new MacBook announcement so soon, but that’s likely in the works for later this year or early next year as well.
The Apple March 27 event is the first education-focused conference we’ve seen from the tech company in quite a while, with the last happening in January 2012 in New York City. At that point, we saw the launch of digital textbooks – a groundbreaking advancement for Apple that put them at the forefront of education technology. Since then, Google has become a staple in the classroom with the Chromebook and Google Classroom platforms, and Apple understandably wants that to change.
So what exactly can we expect from the Apple March 27 event? No one knows for sure, but we can make some educated guesses.
The announcement of a new entry-level 9.7-inch iPad is expected at the March 27 event. While Apple has a refresh of the iPad Pro models in the works that will likely feature Face ID, we probably won’t see those at this event – with the discussion instead focused around capable devices available at a more affordable price. Expect a new processor, and perhaps a camera update as well.
While Apple had mixed reactions when they released a commercial suggesting that a new generation of kids would render regular computers obsolete, it’s true that the iPad is a pretty capable device that can do a lot of what the average MacBook can accomplish. One area that mobile devices do fall short, however, is with the keyboard. If the company can manage to introduce an attractively priced bluetooth keyboard at the Apple March 27 event that interfaces well with their new, lower-priced iPad, they may be able to make the tablets even more attractive to students and educators alike.
This is getting into speculation, but the Apple Pencil is a valuable educational tool that would make a great addition to the regular iPad line. As it’s currently limited to the iPad Pro models, it’s not available to those who don’t have the budget for the more expensive tablets. By bringing Apple Pencil to the new 9.7-inch iPad at the Apple March 27 event, the company may position itself to recapture a portion of the market that it lost in recent years to the expansion of Google into hardware.
While there’s no doubt that Apple devices are capable of handling classroom needs, the fact remains that the devices are often viewed as a luxury rather than a necessity. In the majority of classrooms, the budget just isn’t there to outfit teachers and students with a new iPad or Mac. By introducing more affordable pricing at the Apple March 27 event targeted specifically towards educators, Apple may be able to get their devices into the hands of more young students – perhaps positioning themselves to become Apple customers for life and stealing away some of the focus from Google.
We’ll have to wait until we get closer to the Apple March 27 event to see if all of this is confirmed, but considering Apple’s track record and the needs of the market, all of these announcements could be a real possibility. The conference not being live streamed, but information regarding the announcements should hit the web almost immediately following the conclusion of the Apple March 27 event.