Georgia County to Pay Apple $69.9M for iBooks, Pending Board Approval

Georgiais Cobb County will pay Apple $69.9 million over the next four years to provide 63,000 iBook G4 laptops to teachers, middle and high school students, provided the school board approves the deal.

Two days after word of the possible deal first leaked out, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported late Wednesday that Superintendent Joseph Redden disclosed to school board members the cost of the program. Cobb County said it had managed to negotiate the best price yet in the country for such a program, with each iBook G4 coming in at just $271.26. When support, training, and maintenance are factored in, the cost jumps to $350 -- still 70 percent less than retail.

Board members will vote on the first phase of the plan March 9, which calls for providing the iBooks to teachers this spring. The second phase will be to provide the computers to high school students in early 2006, with the last phase being to provide the computers to middle school students at an unknown future date.