A new report from Futuresource Consulting has found that Google Chromebooks currently make up over 50% of devices used in classrooms across the United States.
The news comes as quite a shock to most analysts, as a report from CNBC notes that Chromebooks accounted for less than 1% of all devices used in classrooms in 2012. Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder said that although Chromebooks have been making progress recently, he found the new data to be "frankly shocking," adding that the devices have quickly and easily gone beyond the popularity of Microsoft and Apple.
The report shows Chromebooks and other devices running on Android accounting for 53% of devices purchased for school use in Q3 of 2015. Meanwhile, both Apple and Microsoft's shares have fallen to 24% each, a drop from 52% and 43% respectively three years ago.
In all, 8.9 million technological devices were sold to K-12 schools and school districts. Of that, 4.4 million were Chromebooks. Broken down, this means an average of 30,000 new Chromebooks are activated in schools across the country each day.
Director of product management for Android and Chrome in business and education, Rajen Sheth says "It's been amazing to us to see that growth happen just in that short amount of time. If you look at the overall market for devices in education, it's actually expanded a lot and Chromebooks have actually taken a lot of the expansion."
While cost accounts for a large portion of the increase in Chromebook use, and over 11 million devices are expected to be sold to schools in the US alone next year, the company has also been making an increased effort for involvement in the education sector. Google Apps for Education have seen growing popularity, with over 50 million students using them for sharing and collaborating on documents, submitting homework, and completing research projects. Chromebooks come pre-loaded with Google Play for Education software, and range in price from $199 for the CTL J2 Chromebook to $249.99 for the Samsung Chromebook 2, plus a $30 management fee, which also comes with teacher-approved apps and books and offers administrators the ability to easily share content with individuals, classrooms, or entire schools.
In addition, teachers are able to create individualized learning plans that are tailored to the specific needs of each child, writes Harriet Taylor for NBC News.
Futuresource analyst Mike Fisher notes that the education technology market is becoming an increasingly popular one for tech companies to focus on, adding that they are all aware of the importance of the education sector, calling it "critical," writes Aman Jain for ValueWalk. Schools across the country are beginning to bring more of their budgets online while PC and tablet sales in other industries are flatlining.
However, Chromebooks have not seen the same growth outside of the United States, which the report says is due to reduced connectivity across the globe, making this a focus for Google in 2016, writes Mark Wilson for BetaNews.
Year-to-date, Google's stock has risen by 45%.