Downloads Top 1 Billion for iTunes U

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The free educational content at iTunes U has hit the 1 billion download mark according to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). iTunes U went live in 2007 and got its own online app and marketplace last June.

A report at TechCrunch says that Apple has also confirmed the sale of 8 million iPads to educational institutions worldwide. More than 1,200 colleges and universities and an equal number of K-12 institutions are providing content. Both Stanford University and The Open University have surpassed 60 million downloads according to Apple.

This is a great deal for Apple. It gets free content for its iPads and the content is what drives the purchases. The company also offers a free developer’s app for building more course materials and content. Apple’s investment in educational software is probably quite small compared with the revenue it has received from sales of the iPad. Pretty smart.

Apple shares are up about 0.3% today at $445.80 in a 52-week range of $435.00 to $705.07.

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