Apple may have lost its iBook contract in Henrico County, Va.’s high schools to Dell Computer, but Henrico County middle schools plan to stick wtih Apple for another four years.
On Thursday night the Henrico County school board voted 3-1 to approve a $16 million, four-year contract that will continue to keep Apple iBooks in the hands of middle schoolers attending area schools, reports the
Richmond Times Dispatch .
Henrico County was one of the first big successes of Apple’s one-to-one laptop computing initiative. Shortly after Apple introduced a redesigned, all-white iBook in 2001, the company announced that Henrico County had purchased
23,000 iBooks for use in Henrico County’s middle schools and high schools.
Henrico County’s experience served as a blueprint for other large-scale rollouts in the state of Maine and elsewhere.
In April, 2005, the Henrico County school board
voted to replace Apple iBooks with laptops from Dell. The county later sold off some of the iBooks to area residents, creating
a mob scene in the process.
The new contract calls for Apple to deliver 12,675 iBooks at a cost of $1,246 each.
The lone dissenter on the school board said that there were more pressing concerns than getting students laptops, such as lowering student-teacher ratios, renovating facilities and expanding academic programs.
The school board awarded Apple the contract following the expiration of a contract proposal from Dell, which would have supplied about 14,000 laptop computers and a cost of $1,111 per unit.