An analysis reveals that Maine overpaid for a costly iPad contract
When each finished its negotiations with computer maker Apple, Los Angeles wound up with a much better deal than Maine, even though the contracts were for exactly the same device and a similar number of users. Los Angeles got a 43 percent discount off retail prices. Maine’s discount was only 14 percent.
“Maine grossly overpaid for these devices,” says Stan Smith, owner of The MacSmith, the Falmouth-based business consultancy for Apple users that undertook a detailed comparative analysis of the contracts because he believes the state officials running Maine’s program have too close a relationship with Apple. State officials, when presented with Smith’s calculations, did not dispute them.
Nearly 40,000 Maine public school students and teachers are using iPads purchased under a contract negotiated last year by the Department of Education’s Maine Learning Technology Initiative, known as the “laptops in schools program.” The program provides devices to all seventh- and eighth-graders in the state and negotiates bulk price contracts for high schools that choose to participate at their own expense.
(Next page: Maine’s iPad program review)