This new colour variant is reportedly being launched to boost the sales of the iPhone X, which incidentally surpassed sales expectations in Q4 2017.
The Apple March event - the first Apple event of 2018 - takes place at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago this week.
It's claimed Apple's new iPad will include support for the Apple Pencil stylus and will be tailored towards education. It's also a rare occasion for an Apple confab outside its home state of California.
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs made schools a priority for the company early in its life. But as the company has driven toward mass-market and higher-margin products in recent years, Google and Microsoft have had success breaking into classrooms with affordable laptops and tablets. In fact, Google's Chrome operating system has grown over the past few years to achieve a 58 percent share of the K-12 mobile computing market in the US, according to research released by Futuresource Consulting earlier this month.
"If we look five years ago, when the market was really just starting, Apple sort of ruled the roost and had 50% market share in USA schools at least", said Ben Davis, an analyst at the market researcher Futuresource Consulting. Devices running Google's operating systems on Chromebooks or Android tablets held 60 percent of the market, and Windows PCs had 22 percent. Apple leads the tablet market with about a 25% share, but iPads and MacBook sales are now dwarfed by sales of iPhones and other products and today account for less than 20% of Apple's overall revenues.
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Based on what we know so far, it looks as though Apple might further diversify its cheaper iPad and more expensive iPad Pro lines, meaning an Apple slate for everyone - whether you're a creative professional or a student. Back in 2013, the iPads made up for more than half of the computing devices that were purchased by schools in the U.S., though according to the latest numbers by research firm Futuresource, that number now stands at 19% only-Google's Chromebooks now account for 58% (up from 50% in 2015) while Microsoft now has a 22% share in the education space.
At this stage the iPad design and specs are pretty familiar, and there aren't too many ways left for Apple to innovative. That's helped the iPad business return to growth after multiple declining quarters. While it is nearly certain that other video projects will arrive before the alleged release window, the supposed timeframe relates to content specifically created as part of Apple's funding efforts from the a year ago.
But even classroom software management is a space where Apple now lags behind Google, which makes G Suite for Education, a version of Google Apps for schools and teachers. But Apple, which has also targeted schools with a variety of offerings, appears likely to make a new attempt to challenge Google's position when it announces a new product during a "field trip" to Chicago tomorrow.
There's not a lot known about it, except for a screengrab which showed the ability for "ClassKit enabled" apps to be synced together, so teachers can assign tasks to students and presumably collect in homework remotely. Apple introduced Swift Playgrounds and its Everyone Can Code curriculum in 2016, both of which are free.
More software is coming. Having a venue where attendees can see the new technology in action inside a classroom would be a sound strategy for a company that focuses its announcements on live demonstrations. The latest launch, in 2017, saw Apple launch a 13in MacBook Air and MacBook, a 4th generation 13in MacBook Pro, plus a 13in and 15in MacBook Pro with Touch Bars.