Chromebooks Gaining on Apple, Microsoft in Education
Chromebooks sold to schools are making huge gains on market leaders Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL), according to new data from market researcher IDC.
In the first six months of this year, some 2.4 million Chromebooks were shipped to schools, exceeding the 2.2 million Windows-based notebooks and desktops sold in the education market during the same time, the researcher said, as the New York Times reported.
“Even if Microsoft is No. 1 in volume and Apple is No. 1 in revenue, from the growth perspective, nobody can beat Chromebook,” said Rajani Singh, a senior research analyst at IDC, told the Times.
For years, first Apple and then Microsoft have dominated the education market, regularly repelling challenges by PC market leaders such as Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Dell to make inroads in the segment. But Web-centric Chromebooks, sporting a low-price of entry and little administration costs, are proving to be a worthy challenger, IDC said.
“There’s very close competition between Windows and Chromebook,” Singh said. “It’s becoming more competitive.”
In 2014, manufacturers shipped a total of 13.2 million systems and devices to schools, or one-third more than the previous year, IDC said, as the total value of those units in schools ran up to some $7 billion.
Chromebooks accounted for about 3.9 million units, or nearly 30 percent of the units shipped to schools, the researcher said, amounting to a whopping increase of 310 percent over last year.
Together, Microsoft and Apple command about 70 percent of the education market. Microsoft holds about 38 percent of the segment, with 4.9 million Windows-based devices, ranging from notebooks and desktops to tablets, IDC said.
Apple is a close second with 4.2 million of its systems and devices sold to schools, accounting for 32 percent of the market, according to IDC’s data, as the Times reported. Apple’s iPad sales to schools slipped slightly to 2.7 million tablets last year.
Earlier this year, Apple modified its education market program for the iPad to make app distribution for the platform easier by no longer requiring an Apple ID to load apps, modifying the Apple ID for Students program and consolidating a number of deployment programs in one overall plan