iPad mini goes to school as Apple education focus tipped

Apple's iPad mini event will see particular emphasis on the smaller tablet's role in educational settings, sources claim, as part of a push to secure lucrative school district contracts to put IT equipment in classrooms. The educational capabilities of the slate – believed to run iOS, like its larger sibling, but on a 7.85-inch screen – will be one of a number of key themes at tomorrow's event, Bloomberg's source suggests, with experts indicating that the rumored $249 starting price could prove the tipping point.

Many schools have already adopted iPads for the classroom, swayed by the growth in availability of educational software in the App Store, the rise of iBooks textbook content, and the cheaper price of the tablet in comparison to Macs. However, even with the iPad range starting at $399 for the iPad 2, it's still not an inexpensive buy when you have a classroom – or a school – full of students to cater for.

To that audience, however, the rumored $249 kicking off point for the iPad mini – together with the ecosystem of apps and services – might bring the slate under a budgetary ceiling whereby principles could equip whole classes with them. Final pricing for the iPad mini is unknown, though other sources have denied the $249 figure and instead argued Apple will launch the tablet at $329 and above.

SlashGear will be at Apple's iPad mini event – also expected to see the reveal of updated iMacs and a new, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display – bringing back all the news in our traditional liveblog. Join us at live.slashgear.com from 10am PT (1pm ET) on Tuesday, October 23 for all the news as it's announced!