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Apple debuts modest education discounts for iPad Air, Retina iPad mini

Apple on Wednesday added the flagship iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display to the company's long-running education discount program, the first time Apple has included the tablets in its less costly options for students and teachers.

The base model iPad Air has been discounted by $30 to $469 while the equivalent iPad mini received a $20 cut to $379. The changes were first noticed by French site iGeneration.

Wednesday's change marks the first time the iPad has received a straight price cut as part of the education program. Previously, the tablets were included in Apple's annual 'Back to School' promotion and came with a $50 gift card, but were not given further discounts.

Apple has renewed its focus on the education market in recent years, with the iPad, the Mac, iBooks textbooks, and iTunes U all contributing to the more than $1 billion Apple earns each year from education. The iPad is particularly strong, having captured 94 percent of tablet marketshare in schools.

"It's sort of unheard of," Cook said of the iPad's education dominance during a corporate earnings call last year. "I've never seen a market share that high before. So we feel like we're doing really well here, and feel great to be making a contribution to education."