There’s no way around the fact that Apple’s killing it with the iPad. It’s crushing every other tablet out there while continuing to appeal to broad demographies. Perhaps nowhere else is the iPad’s versatility so much evident as in education, where iPads are being used to teach, learn, study, research and more.

We’ve grown accustomed to the headlines announcing that this and this educational institution bought that many iPads to implement these devices into their curriculum. Despite the strides Apple’s been making in education, we were still positively surprised to learn today that the San Diego Unified School District has purchased approximately 26,000 iPads worth a cool $15 million in one of the largest programs of its kind to date…

According to San Diego’s 10 News, the initiative is funded by a voter-approved program called “Proposition S” meant to bolster technology in the classroom.

The San Diego Unified School District is getting a $30 education discount from Apple, meaning they’re buying their iPad 2s for $370 per unit. The 26,000 iPads will be put in some 340 classrooms, making it largest iPad rollout for a K-12 school district and will benefit children from grade 5 to high school.

In addition to the $10 million spent on hardware, the San Diego Unified School District is also purchasing an additional $5 million in iPad support and apps.

According to Apple’s finance boss Peter Oppenheimer, K-12 institutions in the United States had purchased twice as many iPads (and Macs) in the March quarter: Oppenheimer told investors on a conference call:

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

These large-scale deployments of iPads in education, enterprise and other major verticals should really worry Apple’s competition as large organizations reluctantly switch technologies.

Apple’s cleverly conceived iBooks Textbooks initiative is no doubt benefiting the iPad’s popularity in education. My mom is a teacher and an iPad user and I can attest first-hand how profound and eye-opening the iPad experience’s been for her students.

Also helping is Apple’s iPad marketing which has managed to achieve what all other tablet contenders have failed so far: explain the iPad’s benefits in Layman’s terms to average people in a 30-second television commercial.

The latest example: the “Do It All” commercial, seen right below.

Now, can you remember any television advert for a non-iPad tablet?

In my personal opinion, the lack of any memorable tablet advertising to create a long-lasting emotional connection with the viewer is really the Achilee’s heel of Apple’s competitors.

I’m serious. If you still think this is something trivial and irrelevant, check out a clip Apple showed to developers at WWDC to thank them for their support, all the while cleverly telling heartwarming stories of how the iOS ecosystem helps enrich people’s lives.

I worked in marketing for five years and let me tell you this: Though iPad advertising is a bit over the top – even cheesy at times – boy has it been effective.

As always, feel free to argue in the comments.

  • in my opinion they could wait until Microsoft release their Windows 8 Tablet.

  • Greg Hao

    Way to stretch yourself there with a $30/iPad discount for the kids while sitting on nearly $100B in cash or cash equivalents. Stay classy Apple.

    • As much as I like Apple, only $30 per iPad discount is incredibly lame.

    • Dan

      indeed that discount is ridiculous

  • sdmidnightrider

    my father is a junior high school teacher in san diego where they are constantly letting go of teachers because of budget cuts. class sizes are around 30-40 students per class in his school and yet they found 15 million to spend on 2nd gen ipads instead of paying teachers, and apple should be a little less greedy and offer a bigger discount for schools, 30 bucks is pathetic.