Apple to Host March 27 Event in Chicago: 'Creative New Ideas for Teachers and Students'
Apple today invited the media to an event on Tuesday, March 27 at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. The keynote will commence at 10:00 a.m. Central Time and will be focused on "creative new ideas for teachers and students," suggesting Apple has some education-related announcements planned.
There is quite a bit of rumored hardware and software in Apple's pipeline that could fit within an educational theme, including lower-priced versions of the iPad and MacBook Air that could be targeted at classrooms. Here's a recap of everything that could be announced at the March 27 event based on recent rumors:
- 9.7-inch iPad for $259: Taiwanese websites DigiTimes and the Economic Daily News reported that Apple is considering releasing a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad for $259—perhaps this will be education pricing. The current 9.7-inch iPad was released in March 2017 for $329.
- MacBook Air for $799 to $899: KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple will launch a more affordable MacBook Air in the second quarter of 2018. The estimated $799-$899 price range comes from WitsView researcher Yubin Qiu. The current MacBook Air starts at $999.
- AirPower charging mat: A trio of reports claim Apple will launch AirPower in March. The mat can inductively charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 3. It will also be able to charge AirPods placed in an optional charging case.
- Wild card — a second-generation iPhone SE: Rumors have been swirling about an iPhone SE refresh, with speculated features ranging from a larger 4.2-inch display to an iPhone X-like design, but Kuo recently cast doubt on the device launching in the first half of 2018.
- A new Apple Pencil: The artwork for Apple's invite appears to be inspired by the Apple Pencil, so perhaps we'll see an updated version of the drawing tool or support for the 9.7-inch iPad.
- iOS 11.3 availability with ClassKit
Apple recently announced that its Everyone Can Code program will see a citywide expansion in Chicago's public schools and city colleges this spring. The curriculum will bring coding opportunities to Chicago's nearly 500,000 students. It's likely we'll learn more details about this initiative at the March 27 event.
Apple hosted a similar education-focused event in New York City back in January 2012, where it announced iBooks 2 with interactive textbooks, iBooks Author, and a new version of iTunes U for iPad.