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Yesterday afternoon the L.A. Times reported that Apple had snagged a $30 million deal to supply iPads to 30,000 students across 47 schools in Los Angeles beginning this fall. A press release issued by Apple this morning confirmed the report. You kind of have to admire the accidental timing--the announcement came right on the heels of the discovery that Microsoft had started selling its Surface RT tablet to educational institutions for $199.
According to Jaime Aquino, the deputy superintendent of instruction at the Los Angeles Unified School District, the decision was unanimous. Of the tablets Aquino and the LAUSD tested prior to the decision, Aquino said, the iPad "rated the best in quality, was the least expensive option and received the highest scoring by the review panel that included students and teachers." By 2014, LAUSD--the nation's second largest school district--hopes to have iPads in the hands of every one of their students. By agreeing to the deal, LAUSD tacitly acknowledges that it'll be sending more money Apple's way in the coming years.
Microsoft's recent news about their Surface RT casts Aquino's comments about the iPad being the least expensive in a curious light, but it's not so surprising when quality and the total package is factored in. All total, according to the L.A. Times, each iPad LAUSD buys will cost $678--that's more than most store-bought versions--but they'll come loaded with an app for the Pearson Common Core System of Courses, in addition to Apple’s iWork (including Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) and iLife (including iPhoto, iVideo, GarageBand). Numerous unspecified third-person apps will also be installed on each iPad, and each one comes with a three-year warranty.
Apple, too, took advantage of the huge win to play up their role in education. "Education is in Apple’s DNA and we're thrilled to work with Los Angeles Unified public schools on this major initiative as they plan to roll out iPads to every student across 47 campuses this fall," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in the press release. "Schools around the world have embraced the engaging and interactive quality of iPad with nearly 10 million iPads already in schools today."
Impressively, the vote passed unanimously even after two attendees with Apple stock--Bennett Kayser and general counsel David Holmquist--left the room for the voting.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.