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Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 05:02 am PT (08:02 am ET)

San Diego school district buys 26K iPads for students

The San Diego Unified School District has purchased nearly 26,000 iPads that it will provide to students in classrooms this fall, making it one of the largest programs of its kind to date.

The district has bought $15 million worth of iPads for use in 340 classrooms this fall, according to San Diego`s 10 News. The money has come from a voter-approved funding program known as "Proposition S," which sets funds aside for up-to-date technology in the classroom.

The district has bought iPad 2 units that retail for $400, but a $30 education discount from Apple means the district will save hundreds of thousands of dollars on the purchase.

The district has not indicated exactly what software students will use, though a likely candidate would be Apple`s own iBooks software, which was enhanced for digital textbooks with the release of iBooks 2 early this year. The iPad 2 units will be utilized in 5th- and 8th-grade classrooms, as well as some high school classes.

San Diego`s investment in the iPad was first noted by Apple`s chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, during his company`s quarterly earnings call in April. At the time, the district had purchased a total of 10,000 iPads, and was planning to secure 15,000 more — a purchase that has now become finalized.

Textbooks


Oppenheimer noted that Apple`s U.S. K-12 customers had purchased twice as many iPads as Macs during the March quarter, despite the fact that the company also set a record in Mac sales for the quarter.

"iPad continues to open doors for new customers with whom Apple previously had no relationship," he said. "As we enter the K-12 institution buying season, we`re hopeful that iPad will be a popular choice."