- 20″ Monitor
- 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
- 1 GB RAM
- 160 GB Hard Drive
To me these specs at that price are a slap in the face. I was then told that this model is an education special only available for educators. How is this a special? The specs are so low. The last time I bought machines that low was about 4 or 5 years ago and I still paid about $100-$200 less than this. Needless to say I got a little upset with Apple for their lack of work for education. I decided to e-mail their CEO. I knew I wouldn’t likely get a response back from him but if I did I knew it wouldn’t likely be from Steve Jobs himself. Of course I was right, it wasn’t Steve replying back. Here is my e-mail and Apples subsequent response to that e-mail.
I write to you out of frustration for the sake of the students that go to my school and the parents and tax payers of our community and communities like us. My district like many other districts used to be an Apple only district. About 7 years ago this district began standardizing to Windows-based computers. Five years ago I took over the IT Director position and continued the standardization from Apple to Windows. Several factors weighed in on the reason but the primary reason was cost.
Apple computers are consistently more expensive than any Windows-based computers when compared by specification. When asked, most Apple representatives will indicate it is because Apple has a higher quality product. I don’t doubt that the Apple product is better engineered than many of the competitors but I do not think 30%-%40 higher in quality. With many of the components being the same between the Apple products and Windows-based products I find it hard to believe publicly funded school districts would still purchase Apple computers.
I am not asking for an explanation of price. What I would like to know is why does education no longer get reasonable discounts? When getting quotes I am quoted an iMac that is only available for education for $899. That is $100 more than my Windows machines I buy but has only 1GB or RAM. I buy my machines at 4GB. The processor speeds also are slower. I’ve heard from many that Apples don’t need as much RAM or processor speed. Perhaps, but I don’t believe it’s 30%-40% faster.
I ask, where does education fit in Apple’s business plan? Education used to be a large customer of Apple and now I don’t think it is. I know my district poses no true financial benefit to Apple as we don’t have the means to purchase large quantities and we won’t likely be switching back to Apple unless something major changes in pricing, so I know we are not of any major concern, but I am curious as to why education is not important to Apple anymore, or at least not as important. Is it only because the iPod/iPhone have pushed Apple so high you don’t need education anymore? Or did you just forget we existed?
Below is the first response I got back from the Apple representative replying to Steve’s e-mails.
We are developing some great new products for education, like the iPad. iLife and iWork are also wonderful for education. These products are no more expensive, and often less expensive, than the competition.
To say the least, this response got my blood boiling. This response just exemplifies the fact that Apple doesn’t seem to get it. To say that their customers should just buy an iPad with no regard for what the district is currently using for educational software and what their needs are or if they even have wireless is so ignorant. My district currently doesn’t have wireless, so I ask, how would I even use an iPad? If they expect me to convert all users to that technology how do I manage all of these devices to push down software to each of them? Is there a product available to do that or do I have to sit down at each and every device and do it? Maybe Apple expects that the users will do it. Sorry Apple but K-12 operates very differently from colleges.
I will admit, I was not a fan of Apple to begin with. This conversation has just solidified my dislike for Apple as a company. I do like their products for the most part, but the company itself feels like an elitist group of people who have their heads so far in the clouds they can’t see that not all schools can afford their product and that their product isn’t 30%-40% better than everyone elses. Apple thinks their product is the Ferrari of the computer world, they need to realize their product is not that great. It’s good, but not that good and schools need to realize that when they consider purchasing their products that Apple may not have their best interests in mind.