Apple Losing Out to Microsoft and Google in U.S. Classrooms

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Use of iPads and MacBooks in U.S. schools hit a new low last year, with Apple struggling to make further inroads into the education sector, according to new figures (via The New York Times).

    According to research company Futuresource Consulting, in 2016 the number of devices in American classrooms that run iOS and macOS fell to third place behind both Google-powered laptops and Windows devices.


    Out of 12.6 million mobile devices shipped to primary and secondary schools in the U.S., Chromebooks accounted for 58 percent of the market, up from 50 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, school shipments of iPads and Mac laptops fell to 19 percent, from about 25 percent, over the same period, while Microsoft Windows laptops and tablets stayed relatively stable at about 22 percent.
    Apple attempted to outmaneuver its education rivals in 2016, announcing its Classroom app, Swift Playgrounds, and a number of other major education-focused feature updates in iOS 9.3, including the ability to share iPads. Microsoft also made significant developments in 2016, including the launch of Microsoft Classroom, 'School Data sSync', and several integrations with popular third party solutions.

    This surge in competition has dented Apple's education revenue stream, according to research firm IDC. Of the $7.35 billion that schools, colleges and universities spent on mobile and desktop computers in 2016, sales of Apple devices fell to $2.8 billion, down from $3.2 billion in 2015.

    Apple's iPad first lost its lead over Google's line of Chromebook laptops in 2014. Analysts at the time said the swing in fortunes for Google's Chromebooks could be attributed to their low cost, which starts at $199 for some models.

    "At the end of the day, I can get three Chromebooks for each of the Mac devices I would have purchased," said Steve Splichal, the superintendent of Eudora Public Schools, speaking to The New York Times. He added that Eudora students continued to use MacBooks for certain creative courses and that first graders and younger students still used iPads.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously made light of Chromebooks' increased popularity in the classroom by calling them "test machines", referring to schools' need for cheap devices for mass computerized testing purposes.

    However, Cupertino is not interested in advancing testing. Cook said in 2015 that Apple is interested in "helping students learn and teachers teach, but tests, no."

    Article Link: Apple Losing Out to Microsoft and Google in U.S. Classrooms
  2. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
    The iOS on iPad is so crippled, I'd never recommend one for a student
  3. macfacts macrumors 68020


    Oct 7, 2012
    Proof iPads are desktop replacements ;)
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    Crippled depends very much on what you need it to do. Lots of architectural engineers use them onsite to help with mapping. Quite a few people use them in medicine as there are some great apps for it. With these tasks, they're actually better for what they need to do. A stable OS, great hardware, and no real opportunity to mess up the system. In such cases, less is more.

    Call that crippled if you will, but I'd much rather a student used an iPad, instead of a Mac or PC I had to constantly troubleshoot and maintain because they downloaded something they shouldn't have.

    I agree that I would like to see iOS evolve to really utilise the larger screen size on the iPad and have a few improvements such as mutiple users. But it's far from completely useless as you're implying.
  5. Keniutek macrumors 6502


    Oct 6, 2011
    But but but... there's the iPhone. Apple doesn't give a **** about anything else. Well, maybe except watch bands.
  6. gpat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    Just make an iPad with trackpad, USB-C host and drag and drop file transfer between app spaces. Would bridge the gap between current iOS and Mac greatly.
    Or just release a bunch of watch bands, it's the same really, I guess.
  7. ILuvEggplant Suspended


    Jul 28, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA
    Apple come on seriously ... Almost 10 years of selling an iPad that acts like an oversized iphone doesn't bode well with all.

    Innovate dammit!
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its a no brainer for the school systems, the cost savings on Chromebooks is significant. Apple wants to market its products as a premium brand and that's fine, but you cannot expect school systems to line up and pay for those premium products when most by and large have very constrained budgets.
  9. EdT macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2007
    Omaha, NE
    Unless there are apps that are unquestionably better than the competition the decision will always be driven by price. Reliability could also influence a decision but none of the devices competing have a bad reliability reputation.
  10. Applebot1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2014
    Always comes down to price. Apple has no chance to dominate education.
  11. peter2 macrumors regular

    May 15, 2007
    Actually, Apple computers used to last much longer than PCs, hence, the TCO was quite favorable for the Mac. In the everything-soldered no-upgrades era, that is no longer true though.
  12. newyorkone macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2009
    This is all on Cook. Totally dropping the ball...
  13. peter2 macrumors regular

    May 15, 2007
    Let me tell you a secret, Tim: Once someone buys a device that can do tests and also most other things (as any modern computer / chrome-puter does these days), there is no need to buy extra Macs (and, on top of those, extra tablets since Macs can't even do touch).
  14. Rocketman, Mar 3, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017

    Rocketman macrumors 603


    The vast majority of school budgets are for union negotiated labor contracts including benefits and pensions vastly more generous than most private sector jobs. Schools pay zero rent, get free supplies from landowners via property taxes, especially if you don't have kids in schools. For the longest time schools had Apple II computers, and that was when they were quite expensive. Now they buy Chinese made confusers with a FREE OS installed.
  15. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014

    Not just that. In terms MDM (mobile device management) apple is lacking. Other vendors have options to implement this much better and even remotely. Sys admins love this stuff. 200 things to change, system A has me able to do this as easy and seamless as possible...its going to edge out over Apple where 200 going to suck really.

    Most school systems I know, even DoDS, don't have an army of IT staff. And they have other things to do like mail and other desktop matters. Line up up conga line MDM method for apple not very appealing, or even feasible really.

    Apples only thing here is the configurator tool. Which is cool but....its device, meet laptop with cable. Other options....decent amount of MDM gets you a fair amount of flexibility over wire(less).
  16. Labeno macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2008
    I think he meant to say, "We are not willing to reduce our profit margin, so all those poor schools need to put on their big boy pant's and pony up the cash". If the richest company in the world truly wanted to help students learn and help teachers teach, it's called charity. Supply all schools with iPads for the price of chrome books or even for free. What a joke.
  17. Stella macrumors 604


    Apr 21, 2003
    Waiting for the "but Apple make 99% of the profits in education sales"...

    Why would schools spend more on iPads when they can buy alternative devices that do the same job equally as well?
  18. dwaltwhit macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2013
    School systems are much more likely to purchase computers than invest in them. They'd rather spend less today and buy recurrently than buy once every 5-6 years.
  19. BoltmanLives Suspended


    Feb 10, 2017
    Apl products are for the kids spending parents that happend to have at least one of them being an "apl fan"

    Schools have budgets, Chromebooks are cheap, coming Windows ARM Cloud books will be cheap and good. Ipads no, Macs no
  20. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Aug 6, 2008
    There seems to be a disconnect with Apple's messaging. Tim talks about getting iPads into the hands of students, but markets an iPad Pro costing hundreds over the competition.

    He doesn't seem to grasp real world budgets.
    Apple needs to stream line it's iPad line up and have price points that truly address an education market and a professional one.
  21. atomsmith, Mar 3, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017

    atomsmith macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2011
    I'm a long-time macOS & iOS educational software developer. And I bet that I haven't fired up Xcode more than 3 times in the past year. If you're not developing your edu apps in HTML5, you're really stupid.

    To be brutally honest -- lacking a keyboard, iPad is about the dumbest thing a school system can buy for middle school and up.

    Sure, price is the key driving factor for schools, but an equally important factor that no one seems to ever mention is Google Sign-In. That's what's really eating Apple's lunch in education.

    It's hard to believe that Apple at Tim Cook's level doesn't understand all of this. I don't think that they care -- they'll just keep telling marketing stories for products that are a mismatch for education. And some will still buy them at their incredible markups.

    Apple cares a lot more about watchbands than education.
  22. centauratlas macrumors 6502a


    Jan 29, 2003
    And emojis.

    Build maintainable, upgradable, powerful machines and sell to schools at cost. Kids like them, and stick with them.
  23. wirefire macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2015
    Apple is playing a long game on this one. As far as I am concerned a Chromebook is not a real computer. It is akin to an iPad with a keyboard and mouse. Children are being done a great disservice by teaching them on a device that they will likely never use in the real world. Young children learn in a way that cannot be reproduced later in life. If you expose a child to a Chromebook / chromeOS for the first several years of their education but then later when they hit high school, college and the working world they need to use Windows / OS X there is a functional and productivity gap that will need to be overcome when compared to a student that learned on those machines from the beginning.

    Google is likely trying to penetrate the education market so in the long run chromeOS becomes more work place acceptable. Children will grow up with it, be more familiar with it, and more willing to work with it at a professional level. It is ok for documents / document management and specialized "apps" but it is never going to run AutoCAD, Solidworks, Accounting Systems, ETC unless the entire world puts everything is Azure or AWS which people should be genuinely suspect of given the frequency and size of the data breaches in the world.

    Apple screwed up, the management tools are terrible. The cost of entry is too high and the functional product life cycle is too short (at least for iDevices).
  24. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Yeah, my niece's school dumped their Macs and now loans students Chromebooks. From the way she describes it her use of her notebook is far beyond what Cook describes as a "test machine." Like all of Apple's markets Cook doesn't understand this one either.

Share This Page