Apple’s iOS 7 Glitch: Minor Embarrassment or Major Education Market Setback?

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Source: Apple.com

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) overall push into the growing education market hit a snag recently when it was discovered that its latest mobile operating system update removed “supervision profiles” from iPads that had been distributed to students in school districts across the country, reports All Things D. The removal of the supervision profiles allowed students browse the Internet without restrictions and download unauthorized content.

According to All Things D, the iOS 7 software glitch led at least one school district to decide to secure all of its iPads at the end of each school day instead of letting students take the devices home. “In the short term, the district will be collecting iPad devices at the end of each day until the safety protection measure is reinstalled,” stated a memo from Colorado’s Manitou Springs School District 14.

The iOS 7 update issue appears to be a separate problem from the one recently encountered by educators in the Los Angeles Unified School District, or LAUSD. District officials in Los Angeles recently discovered that students were able to easily bypass the security software that was installed on school-issued iPads by simply deleting their personal profile information, reports TechDirt. Earlier this year, LAUSD announced that it awarded a $30 million contract to Apple for the company to supply its students with iPads.

Both of these iPad security snafus could negatively impact Apple’s reputation as a safe and secure educational tool for children. As noted by TechCrunch, Apple recently began allowing children under the age of 13 to register iTunes accounts through an “approved educational institution.”

In Apple’s third quarter earnings call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer noted that, “Our U.S. education institution business had a great quarter generating its highest quarterly revenue ever. The results were fueled by all-time record quarterly iPad sales of 1.1 million units in addition to strong June quarter Mac sales.” Apple’s education market success is partly due to its reputation as a “kid-friendly” company.

“Some business and education users have reported that their supervised devices have reverted to unsupervised when they upgrade to iOS 7. We are aware of this issue, and will have a fix this month,” said Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller via All Things D. In the meantime, some districts have blocked iPads from receiving the iOS 7 update.

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