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Apple Sells Twice as Many iPads as Macs to U.S. Schools

Apple revealed that it sold more than twice as many iPads as Macs to educational institutions in the United States in its latest quarter while also experiencing record sales of Macs during the period.

According to CFO Peter Oppenheimer, Apple sold 17 million iPads worldwide during the quarter (versus 9.2 million in the same quarter last year). Of those, about 1 million were sold to U.S. education institutions in Q3 2012.

Surge in Apple Mobile Devices
"The iPad continues to be a great success in the U.S. education market, with sales setting a new quarterly record and nearly doubling year over year, to just under 1 million iPads," Oppenheimer told analysts and reporters during Apple's quarterly earnings briefing yesterday.

He added: "While interest in the new iPad was high, sales of the reduced-price iPad 2 in the K-12 market were particularly strong. And even though … we achieved all-time record Mac sales to U.S. education institutions during the quarter, we sold more than twice as many iPads as Macs to U.S. education institutions."

Sales of Macs during the quarter were about 4 million, roughly 500,000 of which were sold to U.S. education institutions. Of those, about three-quarters (or roughly 375,000 units) were portable Macs, according to Oppenheimer.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said that such a flurry of adoption is extremely rare for the education space: "The adoption rate of iPad in education is something I've never seen from any technology product in history. Usually education tends to be a fairly conservative institution in terms of buying, or K-12 does, and we're not seeing that at all on the iPad."

Oppenheimer highlighted one texas district that's purchased 11,000 iPads for a 1-to-1 program.

"On great example of iPad adoption in education is the Mansfield, TX Independent School District, which has purchased 11,000 iPads," Oppenheimer said. "This fall, every Mansfield high school student and teacher will receive an iPad under the district's PowerUp initiative. Some teachers will use a flipped classroom concept, putting their lectures and resources online where students can access them any time with their iPads. As a result, students take responsibility for their own learning, and teachers are able to increase their interaction and personalized content time."

Updates to iTunes U
In other Apple education news, the company released updates to its iTunes U service. iTunes U provides free access to educational content contributed by universities, colleges, K-12 institutions, and statewide education systems.

With the release today of Apple's latest version of Mac OS X (Mountain Lion), iTunes U has received several significant enhancements, including new features that allow students to take notes over audio and video. Those notes are searchable, so students can locate specific points in an audio or video clip based on their text.

Other enhancements to iTunes U include:

  • The ability for any teacher to sign up for iTunes U and deliver courses;
  • New settings that allow teachers to deliver courses privately to a selected number of students; and
  • The ability to share courses via Twitter, Apple's Mail application, and Apple's communications tool Messages.

Apple said that there have been more than 14 million downloads of the iTunes U app and that more than 750 new courses have been published since January. Also, according to Apple, "more than 700 new K-12 schools and districts and 125 colleges and universities have enrolled" in the service.

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