Will New Kids Apps Grow Apple’s Education Business?

facial expressionsApple (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently notified developers by email about some of the new guidelines for its new “Kids” category for the App Store as the company prepares to make a major push into the lucrative educational app market reports Apple Insider.  The new category will make Apple’s ecosystem more “kid-friendly” and give the Cupertino-based company an edge over other tech companies vying for a share of the growing education market. Apple will debut the Kids category when it launches iOS 7 this fall.

The education market has become increasingly important for Apple, especially for sales of the iPad. 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.”

The email informs developers that their apps for children must be designated with a specific age range. Developers can select from three age ranges; “Ages 5 and under,” “Ages 6-8,” or “Ages 9-11.” MacRumors notes that Apple will also start allowing children under the age of 13 to open their own iTunes accounts.

Other guidelines enacted by Apple are related to special privacy policy rules and advertising regulations as they pertain to children. Many of these guidelines are to ensure that developers’ apps are in compliance with the recently expanded Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, or LAUSD, announced in June that it had awarded a $30 million contract to Apple for the company to supply its students with iPads. However, this is only the first phase of a much larger iPad program in this school district. According to CITEWorld, the school district is now planning to distribute iPads to all 640,000 students by the end of 2014.

Apple has long been pushing the educational benefits of its iPads for adult students by offering a large catalog of educational content through its free iTunes U app downloads. However, with its new Kids app category, it appears the company is now ready to make a similar push into the children’s education market.

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