Monday, March 6, 2017

Apple Losing Education Share

Natasha Singer (MacRumors, Hacker News):

Mobile devices that run on Apple’s iOS and MacOS operating systems have now reached a new low, falling to third place behind both Google-powered laptops and Microsoft Windows devices, according to a report released on Thursday by Futuresource Consulting, a research company.


While school administrators generally like the iPad’s touch screens for younger elementary school students, some said older students often needed laptops with built-in physical keyboards for writing and taking state assessment tests.

The public school system in Eudora, Kan., for instance, used to have rolling carts of iPads for elementary school classrooms and MacBook carts for older students to share. But last year, when administrators wanted to provide a laptop for each high school student, the district bought 500 Chromebooks at about $230 each.


To compete with Chromebooks, Microsoft announced last month that it had worked with Acer, HP and Lenovo to develop low-cost Windows laptops for schools, with prices starting at $189.

This is sounding like a familiar refrain, but it seems like either Apple doesn’t care about this market or it completely misjudged its needs. I haven’t used a Chromebook, but at least on paper it seems like a near perfect machine for education: great price and durability, a real keyboard, a larger screen than on Apple’s cheaper devices, cloud-based productivity apps, and little need for administration. In some cases, students would need the full power of a Mac or PC, but for most education uses they don’t.

Update (2017-05-19): See also: Natasha Singer (via Hacker News).

7 Comments RSS · Twitter

I volunteer at a high school in San Francisco. They use both Chromebooks and Macs (I think the Chromebooks are newer), but all the software is Google.

I'm taking a welding course. There are Chromebooks for us to use for online training materials and tests. I can see them being quite adequate for schools.

Surprisingly, I did not see it mentioned at all, but I'd bet Google Docs is the killer app in all this.

@charles Yes, exactly. Google Docs works incredibly well.

Googles Docs and Google Classroom which allows kids and teachers to manage the paperless homework process. Chromebook is basically the cheapest/easiest way to access these systems. Schools and households have diverse hardware, the platform neutral web based system works incredibly well, we use it from Macs, PCs, Chromebooks. We have several iPads, kids don't _want_ to use them for schoolwork, just games/videos.

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