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Apple will introduce iPad Mini as the perfect student tablet: report

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Reuters

(Read caption) A man takes a photograph of members of the public entering a new Apple store in Beijing's Wangfujing shopping district on Oct. 20, 2012. A new iPad, possibly called the iPad Mini, is expected to be unveiled tomorrow at an event in California.

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Apple will position its forthcoming iPad Mini tablet as an affordable educational tool, Bloomberg Businessweek reports today. 

Citing an anonymous source with knowledge of the marketing strategy for the forthcoming tablet – which may or may not be called the iPad Mini – Businessweek says Apple executives will "make a point of highlighting the iPad’s educational capabilities" at an event tomorrow in California.

The device, in turn, would become part of a larger initiative Apple established by former CEO Steve Jobs, where schools are sold Apple products at a discounted price. 

The Bloomberg report lines up with an earlier dispatch, from The Next Web, alleging that Apple would position the Mini primarily "as a conduit for Apple’s content, namely iBooks publications and movies."

Writing at The Next Web on Oct. 12, Matthew Panzarino wagered that a new iBooks platform would arrive alongside the Mini, "with expanded support for annotations and other tricks in order to keep apace with Amazon’s Kindle X-Ray feature and maybe even multi-mode support for audio and text-book syncing." 

All of this, obviously, is speculative – Apple has not even confirmed the existence of the Mini. But it does make sense. 

After all, analysts believe the iPad Mini will start at $299 or even $249, half the price of the most affordable iPad, and only $50 more than the newest Amazon Kindle Fire. (To be able to sell the Mini at that price point, Apple will probably not include a high-resolution "Retina Display" on the device.) A sub-$300 price tag would be attractive to both schools and parents looking for a budget tablet for their kids. 

In related news, a new survey of 1,300 MarketWatch readers shows strong consumer interest in an iPad Mini. Asked which forthcoming tablet they would be most likely to buy, the vast majority of respondents named the iPad Mini; the Microsoft Surface placed a distant second.

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