Free iPhones for college students: catching on?

Share this article:

Today I read an article in the New York Times about a few colleges giving some or all of their students either iPhones or internet-enabled iPod Touches. Students could use the devices to be connected 24/7 with their campus’ wireless networks. The examples of uses in the Times article were learning about cancelled classes, delayed busses, campus crises or changes in the cafeteria menu.

So far the Times has confirmed four schools have announced plans for this type of distribution—the University of Maryland, Oklahoma Christian University, Abilene Christian University, and Freed-Hardeman. But if this spreads, mobile marketers may see this as an opportunity to reach college students that may not have had mobile internet previously. Geotargeting for a particular city or campus could be particularly effective if a marketer knows that every student on a campus has an iPhone.

The article also states that with student permission, colleges could potentially track the location of student on campus. This could mean no more skipping one class to finish a paper in the library for another.

This idea raised other questions for me. Who pays for the AT&T service? (The student) Do colleges get discounts for buying the devices in bulk? (Unclear) Will the devices, as the article suggests it might, replace the use of laptops on campus? (I’m guessing no) And most importantly, will this lock students in to using mobile internet, iPhones and AT&T services after graduation? (I’m guessing yes)

This could be the future of technology in higher education. Not to mention, if it continues, a way to ensure that more and more people will become users of the mobile web and at a much faster rate than we thought.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

Latest Jobs:


Company of the Week


Founded in September 2009, Stirista is an integrated marketing agency that specializes in micro-targeting via traditional and digital channels. Our mission is to help companies, non-profits, and universities alike find new prospects and better understand their existing contacts. We are on the preferred vendor list for a handful of Fortune 500 companies with three of the ten largest companies in the world turning to us for marketing insights. To put it simply, we're young (at least at heart), ambitious, and sometimes impulsive-but always hungry for new ideas.

Featured Listings

Stirista

Stirista

Founded in September 2009, Stirista is an integrated marketing agency that specializes in ...