Apple Still Offers 17" iMac to Schools, Priced at $899

Though officially discontinued since 2007, Apple still offers a 17" iMac to schools, a fact tracked down by Ars Technica. The unit is a 17" iMac with a 1.83 GHz processor based on the previous generation of white polycarbonate enclosure, and it's priced at US$899 for institutional purchasers.

As noted by Ars Technica and confirmed by The Mac Observer, it's not so easy to find the model on the company's Apple Store for Education Web site. For one thing, it is not available to individuals shopping through the site, but it is available to the above-mentioned institutional purchasers.

If you'd like to see it yourself, you'll need to use the "create a quote" function of the Apple Store for Education, after choosing the option for purchasing as an administrative, faculty, or staff member. From there, choose the iMac product line, and below the contemporary product models, you'll find a link to a, " 17-inch iMac with 1.83GHz processor available. Just $899.00." The screen shot below is the resulting unit.

A screen shot of Apple's 17" iMac for schools
Screen shot of Apple's previous generation of 17" iMacs being offered to schools for $899

The subject came to light when the folks at Ars Technica noticed an $899 iMac being mentioned in Apple's monthly education newsletter. Highlighting a difficult-to-find, inexpensive iMac may be part of Apple's strategy for meeting school needs in the current era of financial difficulty being faced by schools and governments across the U.S.

Apple has a long history of making special models available only to schools. For instance, the eMac was originally introduced as an eduction-only model, but was later offered to any and all comers when it generated significant interest in consumers.