Thursday, November 21, 2019

Schiller on Chromebooks in Education

Phil Schiller (9to5Mac):

You don’t envision a future where [Mac and iPad] merge?

No, that’s not our view. Because then you get this in-between thing, and in-between things are never as good as the individual things themselves. We believe the best personal computer is a Mac, and we want to keep going down that path. And we think the best tablet computing device is an iPad, and we’ll go down that path.

iPad benefits because we assume that you need to be able to do most everything with touch, and we don’t have to trade off on that experience. Mac assumes you want to do most everything with a keyboard and mouse input. We don’t have to trade off on that path. You can look at some of the other products that will try to go halfway between the two. They end up just compromising experiences. That’s not good.


This is completely at odds with the Catalyst initiative.

Phil Schiller:

College students’ [use] is dominated by Macs. In the majority of creative fields -- writers, video editors, music creators and programmers -- I think that’s an area that’s super strong.


We have this incredible responsibility to make sure the hardware and software is designed seamlessly together, works the way you want, and those things all ultimately make it so that as a customer, you have ease of use. That’s what we strive to do with the Mac.


You talked about MacBook as popular with college students. But Chromebooks have grown in the education market. What’s your perspective on that?

In the K-12 market, particularly for the lower grades -- K through six to nine -- iPad is doing really well. We think it is the ultimate tool for a child to learn on.

We’re really investing a lot into continuing to grow, both from the enterprise side with manageability and tools to helping schools from a learning experience. Everything from our Everyone Can Code curriculum that has our Swift Playgrounds app to help children at a very young age learn how to understand software and create opportunities for kids to become developers, all the way to augmented reality.


Kids who are really into learning and want to learn will have better success. It’s not hard to understand why kids aren’t engaged in a classroom without applying technology in a way that inspires them. You need to have these cutting-edge learning tools to help kids really achieve their best results.

Yet Chromebooks don’t do that. Chromebooks have gotten to the classroom because, frankly, they’re cheap testing tools for required testing. If all you want to do is test kids, well, maybe a cheap notebook will do that. But they’re not going to succeed.

James Vincent:

Schiller later tried to clarify the comment on Twitter, saying that Apple also provides “content, curriculum and tools” for kids, framing his remarks more as a comment on Google and Chromebook manufacturers than the children using them.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (Hacker News):

I guess Apple is in the first stage of grief over the state of its education market share: denial. As my colleague Mike Elgan noted recently, “Google schooled Apple and Microsoft in the education market by growing market share from zero to 60 in eight years.”


And, no, it’s not all about price. Chromebooks are great machines, and vendors are adding features to push them into the enterprise.

Benjamin Mayo:

IMO iPads offer a better experience but are easier to break and not as affordable … so schools pick Chromebooks.

Daniel Bader:

The implication here is that Chromebooks can’t, or make it hard to, facilitate kids’ creative learning and growth. That’s grossly false, but it also misses that most teachers and school boards are cash-strapped and any tool, even a shitty Chromebook, is better than nothing.

Quinn Nelson:

Privacy aside, Schiller couldn’t be more wrong. Chromebook fills all the needs for schools and iPad leaves much to be desired.


And if I’m being frank, I agree with Schiller. They suck. But they’re perfect for schools and they’ve already succeeded. Google won. Better tools, better integration with schools, lower cost, cheaper hardware. Apple will never be able to compete. It’s over.

Eric Young:

When you hear Schiller & Apple press folk talk about iPad price as being the reason Apple lost

That should be eye opening

And it explains why Apple to this day is flat footed without any viable strategy in so many areas they compete in. And why Apple press folks are too

I’ll say it again. It really has nothing to do with price

Apple could give iPads away for free - and they do! They still lose and don’t know why

Google, Facebook, Amazon own the Apple users. Apple just doesn’t know it yet


Update (2019-11-26): Kyle Howells:

An iPad is nicer but is more limited.

If I had to pick a device I’d pick a Chromebook. It has a real desktop web browser and a trackpad. It’s a computer(ish) & can do computer things. An iPad is still too limited.

Chromebook vs MacBook Apple wins
Chromebook vs iPad Google wins

And that’s from a users point of view.

From school’s the Chromebook keeping everything in the cloud and the device being throw away interchangeable terminals is fantastic and exactly what they need.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

Chromebooks are not terrible and are more flexible than iPads. Not just for education, I mean as general computing devices. More hardware options, more price points, and more choices for software -- web apps obviously, but now they can run Android apps and even Linux tools. This is powerful stuff right now. No joke.

I'd rather have a Chromebook than an iPad if I wanted to get actual work done.

>Chromebooks are not terrible and are more flexible than iPads


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