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Ipad Mini's for Missionaries

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:37 am
by TinMan
The Church recently announced a program where some missionaries will be asked to purchase a specially configured Ipad Mini for $400.00 that they will be able to keep when they are released.

Being a Techno neophyte, why a Mini? Why not something less expensive? "Specially configured" I assume will be protected from certain internet websites. Will this configuration make it so the Mini's are not so useful after the mission is completed?

I am getting questions from my ward members that I would like help answering. :)

Re: Ipad Mini's for Missionaries

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:55 am
by aebrown
My guess is that there were some reasons why the iOS platform was chosen. It may have been the skill set of the available developers, or some key decision maker's preference.

Once that decision was made, the Mini makes great sense -- it's a tablet, which gives you more application options than a phone form factor, and it's cheaper and smaller than an iPad. Perhaps the Church was able to negotiate a volume discount with Apple.

As for the special configuration, the Mini can certainly be reset to factory defaults at the end of the mission.

Re: Ipad Mini's for Missionaries

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:21 am
by TinMan
Is $400.00 a discounted price?

Re: Ipad Mini's for Missionaries

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:28 am
by sbradshaw
I don't know if there's a way to block web sites on an iPad, but I'm sure there's some software that will track usage. Part of the configuration would also be having missionary-essential apps pre-installed, such as Area Book / Planner, Gospel Library, LDS Tools, and LDS Music.

Church developers have been developing for iOS for a while now – so most of the church apps have become mature on iOS before being full-featured on other platforms. Whatever the reason, church apps on iOS are historically a step ahead of church apps on any other platform, and why give missionaries less than the best gospel tools?

Re: Ipad Mini's for Missionaries

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:30 am
by sbradshaw
Judging by the price, it must be the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

Re: Ipad Mini's for Missionaries

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:42 am
by russellhltn
TinMan wrote:they will be able to keep when they are released.


Isn't a mission about the typical life-span before it's obsolete? ;)

Re: Ipad Mini's for Missionaries

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:10 am
by TinMan
I wonder if they will become like bicycles. You sell it to the new guy coming in.

One worry I have is that now all those muggers who know that missionaries don't have any money will now know they all have $400.00 IPad Minis.

Re: Ipad Mini's for Missionaries

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:30 pm
by gregwanderson
Apple is not known for being very generous with discounts for bulk purchases and, when it comes to iPads, they don't even offer student pricing. I wonder why you couldn't get by with an iPod Touch (half the price of an iPad Mini). Do they need these iPads to share videos as part of missionary lessons, making the iPod Touch too small? What if you already have an iPad? Can you just bring it on your mission and let someone do the special configuration to it?

Re: Ipad Mini's for Missionaries

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:52 am
by russellhltn
mrrad wrote:I wonder why you couldn't get by with an iPod Touch

I think part of the problem is getting timely updates. Sure, they could go to the office or a church meetinghouse for the WiFi, but in some areas, that means getting "business" (mission) emails once a day. A cell data connection is needed to keep them connected and timely.

Re: Ipad Mini's for Missionaries

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:31 am
by gregwanderson
Oh, so do we know for sure they're going to have cellular hardware and data plans? Then $400 would represent a huge non-Apple-like discount and the church would be paying for a lot of data plans.