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Apple confirms plans for mysterious 'education announcement'

What’s Apple got up its sleeve – could it be unveiling the third edition of the iPad? Or something else entirely?
Jan 11th 2012, 7:26 PM 9,045 25

APPLE HAS CONFIRMED details of a press conference in New York next week – where it is thought that it may unveil the latest edition of its iPad.

Journalists have been told to attend an event at the city’s Guggenheim Museum on January 19 – that’s eight days from today – where Apple will be making an “educational announcement”.

Such themed project launches are unusual for Apple, though the company does usually give cryptic hints about the nature of any products it intends to unveil.

Speculation has risen in recent weeks that the next major Apple product release would be an upgraded version of the iPad – with the current model, the iPad 2, now coming close to the same age that the original iPad was when it was superceded.

A Japanese blog claimed today that Apple’s usual manufacturing partner, Foxconn, had begun production on the third-generation iPad with an apparent shipment date of early March.

It was also reported last week that 2012 could see the launch of two iPads – with an iPad 3 being released in March, before an iPad 4 (coming “with killer applications”) being launched later in the year.

That report, from Digitimes, suggested that the hardware offering of the iPad 3 would not be a major advance – though, if true, it could allow Apple to slash the cost of the iPad 2 so that the tablet is able to resist the growing popularity of Amazon’s Kindle devices.

Given the educational theme of the event, it’s possible that the launch of a new tablet could be combined with a new drive by Apple to gain a foothold in the increasingly lucrative college industry – perhaps with a new iPad-lite for use in a classroom.

Another option is a similarly downmarket version of its iMac desktop computer, which is also due to have its product line revamped soon.

What do you think could be announced at the Apple event? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Gavan Reilly

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