After last month’s digital textbook initiative was announced by Apple, the noise has seemed to die down a bit. Except in schools all around the country, where school administrators can’t stop talking about it.
Rick Aristotle Munarriz reports for The Motley Fool :
If you think Apple is a pretty big deal right now, you’ve seen nothing yet.
I have an eye-opening experiment for you. Get a hold of any of your family members or friends who are teachers. High school teachers are preferable, and you’ll get bonus points if they happen to be educators at private institutions.
Hit them with this simple chat starter: I heard that your school was going iPad in the fall.
These are the three words that you’re most likely to hear back: How’d you know?
Munarriz believes that, unless budgetary concerns or red tape arises, many schools will be doing their best to lighten students backpacks next fall. He says, “The classroom land grab is happening right now, folks. Amazon’s smart enough to know that it can’t let Apple run away with this, but it’s on the verge of flunking out of class anyway by taking too long to react.”
Amazon tried to push the Kindle into the classroom a few years ago. Unfortunately for them, the Kindle at the time did not allow color, the screen was too small, and the keyboard was awkward. Also, the pricing at that time was too much for a device that had only one use.
Munarriz continues, “Amazon’s now three months into the solution. The Kindle Fire sells for half of what the original Kindle was fetching, and less than half of Apple’s merrily paid ransom. Since hitting the market in mid-November, Amazon has sold millions of the entry-level tablet.
“It’s been widely reported that the Kindle Fire is being sold at a loss. Amazon thinks it will make back the difference in time through digital sales. Well, you don’t get any better than a classroom of tablet haulers forking over $15 per book every semester.”
However Amazon is not as yet pushing the Fire to the educators as a cheaper alternative to the iPad. Are they missing the last boat out?