Apple Devices Wane as Chromebooks Gain Education Market Share


Chromebooks are an increasingly popular choice for schools, a new report reveals, while Apple devices are declining in popularity.

So far in 2015, 2.4 million Chromebooks have been sent to schools across the U.S. compared to 2.2 million Windows-based desktops and notebooks, according to a report issued by IDC, a market research firm. IDC believes Chromebooks will soon outnumber Apple devices in the education sector.

“Even if Microsoft is No. 1 in volume and Apple is No. 1 in revenue, from the growth perspective, nobody can beat Chromebook,” Rajani Singh, a senior research analyst at IDC and author of the report told the New York Times.

According to the IDC report, Apple shipped 4.2 million devices to schools in 2014 compared to 3.9 million Chromebooks for the same year. Although Chromebook sales were smaller than Apple’s, Chromebooks recorded a unit sale increase of more than 310% in relation to 2013, the IDC report shows.

The 2014 market for devices such as tablets, laptops and desktop computers for kindergarten to 12th grade students is estimated at $7 billion. But that’s not all:

“If a manufacturer is able to capture a child’s mind and imagination at a young age, they have a very respectable chance of keeping hold of the computer investment for a long, long time and this $7 billion may be multiplied several times over,” David Steele of explains.

Apple’s high-end devices reveal the highest revenue share for 2014, which makes up half the total revenue for all devices shipped that year with a 32% unit sales market share. Microsoft, on the other hand, has sold the most devices in 2014 totaling almost 5 million Windows-based computers, notebooks and tablets.

According to AndroidHeadlines, it is no surprise that Chromebooks are experiencing a rapid rise in school adoption across the country; they are user-friendly, maintenance-free, have a handy built-in keyboard, do not require expensive accessories, are eligible for five-year long updates by Google, and are about half the price of an iPad.

Anthony Salcito, the Vice President for Worldwide Education at Microsoft, said that Office, one of Microsoft’s key products, is compatible with Android and iOS devices, according to the New York Times. Salcito said that the company’s focus is:

“[O]n empowering educators and inspiring students to achieve more, on whatever device they choose,” he said.

Apple spokesman Ryan James, who says Apple numbers over 15 million iPads in classrooms across the world, highlights that:

“Teachers and students continue to dream up new ways to make them part of their everyday lesson plans,” he said.

2015 figures are not definitive given that Microsoft has just released its free Windows 10 upgrade and the fact that Apple is planning to release its new iPads some time later this year. With the new school year just starting, the numbers could “be swayed against Chromebooks,” Tech Radar says.