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Apple awarded $30m contract to supply LA schools with iPads, Microsoft not happy

touchscreen tablet fingerApple has scored a lucrative contract with the LA Unified Schools District to supply every student with an iPad.

According to an LA Times report this week, the district’s Board of Education awarded the $30 million contract to the Cupertino company after testing a number of devices. It said the iPad was chosen as it was considered “both the best in quality and the least expensive option that met the district’s specifications.”

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Students across 47 campuses in the district, which happens to be the second-largest school system in the country, will receive the tablet later this year.

At $678 per iPad, the district will be paying more than the store price for the device. However, each one will be pre-loaded with a number of third-party educational apps together with various Apple software. A three-year warranty will also be included.

As you might expect, competitors such as Microsoft are not happy about the deal.

Robyn Hines, senior director of state government affairs for the Redmond-based computer giant warned that considering only one device and limiting itself to a single platform could prevent the schools district from benefiting from future price reductions and innovations. Hines added that students should be given the chance to experience a range of platforms and machines, such as those from Microsoft, as the workplace is not just limited to Apple products.

Several Board of Education members also voiced concerns, with Richard Vladovic wondering if the board had collected enough detailed information regarding costs.

But the contract is signed and sealed now, and Apple is of course just fine with that, with the tech giant announcing on Wednesday that it’s “thrilled” with the deal.

“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,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a release.

Contracts with education boards are, of course, a big deal for computer companies. Apple claims to have 10 million iPads in schools around the world, with educational establishments from elementary schools to universities taking an interest in the Cupertino company’s tablet.

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