Stacked iPadsSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple is helping to connect students in California.
  • It is partnering with T-Mobile to help get iPads to students.
  • Up to 1 million students could receive discounted iPads.

Apple and T-Mobile are partnering with the California Department of Education (CDE) to offer discounted iPads to up to 1 million students.

In a press release, Wednesday, the CDE stated:

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) is collaborating closely with Apple and T-Mobile to connect up to 1 million students in need as most schools across California expect to begin the next school year in distance learning.

At a time when schools have experienced a shortage of available computing devices, the two companies are teaming up with the state to facilitate technological access that currently prevents hundreds of thousands of students from connecting with their teachers, peers, and school communities. Apple and T-Mobile will fulfill orders from districts—which could reach up to 1 million students—with discounted iPads already equipped with high-speed internet connectivity.

As the report notes, up to 97% of California's 6.2 million students had to resume their school year remotely due to COVID-19, since then the CDE has worked with various groups and organizations to "remove inequitable barriers to student access". Thurmond commended Apple and T-Mobile for "stepping up in a monumental way to support California's neediest students."

Apple will offer students iPads with cellular capabilities at discounted prices, and T-Mobile will provide discounted cellular service. The CDE says it will issue guidance to districts regarding submitting orders for iPads, and that up to 100,000 will be ready to ship through the back to school time frame. The rest of the demand will be fulfilled through the end of 2020.