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Apple to Host March 27 Event in Chicago: 'Creative New Ideas for Teachers and Students'
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 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.