Today, March 16, Apple sent journalists an invite to an event March 27, likely to show off some new products. But instead of hosting at its brand-new campus, or at any venue in the Bay Area as it tends to do, the forthcoming event will be held at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, Illinois. It’s highly likely that whatever Apple announces will be focused on education.
Perhaps that’ll mean some new low-end MacBook laptops (rumors still circulate that it plans to revamp the MacBook Air), or new iPads, which Apple seems convinced that students can use instead of laptops. Students in high school and middle school around the US have taken to using Chromebooks, highly affordable laptops running Google’s Chrome operating system that are often provided by the schools themselves.
Microsoft attempted to recover some of the market with an education-focused event last year, and the launch of the Surface Laptop, but that still costs considerably more than most Chromebooks. Whether Apple plans to take on that market with a new product, or just service it with iPads, is unclear.
Apple has perviously worked with the Chicago public school system—the fourth-largest in the US with around 400,000 students—and in December announced that students would soon be able to attend after-school coding classes supported by Apple.
We’ll find out what it has in store for the dwindling Chicago student population—and the rest of us—at 10am US Central time, March 27.