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IDC: Chromebooks Gain on iPads in Schools

6942313557_a12fc706f0_bA new report from IDC last week revealed that Apple’s pattern of being the most profitable device maker (but not the biggest platform) is just as true in academic market as it is with smartphones.

The NYTimes covered the report last week (from what I can see, no one else wrote about it).

Last year, the market for desktop, laptop, tablets and two-in-one computers shipped to kindergarten-through-12th-grade schools and institutions of higher education in the United States amounted to $7 billion, according to estimates from IDC.

In all, the company said, about 13.2 million systems were shipped in 2014 – about 33 percent more than the year before.

As a device maker, Apple was the single largest player in this market, accounting for around 4.2 million devices iPads, iMacs, and Macbooks. That was about 32% of the market in terms of unit sales, IDC said.

But as a platform, Apple was not the largest. That title would go to Microsoft. About 4.9 million Windows devices, including tablets, laptops, and desktops were sold to US schools last year, giving Microsoft a roughly 38% market share in unit sales.

Chromebooks came in second, with an estimated 3.9 million shipped in the education sector last year. That’s more that four times the number sold in 2013. "Even if Microsoft is No. 1 in volume and Apple is No. 1 in revenue, from the growth perspective, nobody can beat Chromebook," said IDC senior research analyst Rajani Singh.

In comparison, iPad unit sales in this market dropped last year to 2.7 million units, down from 2.9 million in 2013.

But it’s not all bad news for Apple; they may have sold only a third of the  units, but they also accounted for nearly half of the total dollars spent on computers in education in 2014, IDC reports.

In short, Apple is crying all the way to the bank.

image by kjarrett

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Rob Siders August 24, 2015 um 6:11 pm

The local middle school here in my town is sending the kids out selling magazines to raise money for Chromebooks. My kid’s grade school just doubled its stash of them.

Hussman August 25, 2015 um 10:53 am

As a Chromebook user and fan, I’m all for seeing their share grow

Nate Hoffelder August 25, 2015 um 11:15 am

I would be a fan as well, if only I could install it on my current laptop.

Tony Hart August 25, 2015 um 6:50 pm

It’s not true ChromeOS, but a modified Ubuntu distribution called "Chromixium" is a reasonable facsimile that can run on most PCs. A few months ago, I set up my 5-year old laptop to dual-boot Windows 7 or Chromixium. I use Chromixium every day now and rarely need to boot into Windows.

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