The Wall Street Journal today published news claiming Apple plans to release an iMac-inspired computer designed exclusively for schools and colleges.

It’s a move to defend the company’s education business. The new product will be “white”, “one-piece” and called the “eMac”, the report claims. The product’s set to cost $999-$1,999.

The company is focusing its efforts in all its markets – the desktop publishing, video, new-media, and education markets, for example.

Apple’s move to release a product specifically for education is also seen as an attempt to recapture market-share lost to Dell when Apple reorganized its educational-sales teams in summer 2000.

The decision to bring educational sales teams in-house at that time was executed at the peak buying-time in the US education market, hampering sales. US school-districts have also been hiring technology managers from the corporate sector, where Windows machines predominate, the report claims.

If the report is true, the eMac appears set to ship just in advance of US education’s peak summer-season.