Apple's Macs and iPads fall to third place in US classroom use

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited March 2
Apple's Macs and iPads have lost significant ground in the U.S. educational market during the last three years, in 2016 slipping to third place behind Chromebooks and Windows devices, according to new research.




Versus 2015, Macs fell a percentage point to just 5 percent of devices in the American K-12 segment, while iPads shrank five points to 14 percent, Futuresource Consulting said on Thursday. Apple's combined 19 percent put it below Windows' 22 percent, and well distant of the 58 percent owned by Chromebooks.

The market was more evenly distributed in 2014, with Chromebooks taking 38 percent, Apple 34 percent, and Windows 25 percent.




Google's Chromebook platform has proven popular with schools for a number of reasons, among them up-front price -- Chromebooks can sometimes cost less than $200. Maintenance personnel cite cloud-based provisioning for the Chromebooks as a positive, as well as the near-disposable low-cost of the individual devices as an advantage for the platform.

The cheapest iPad, the Mini 2, starts at $269 before any bulk deals. A full-sized iPad is at least $399, while iPad Pros can cost $599 or more. Macs are even more expensive, with the cheapest recent model at retail being the $999 MacBook Air. Until late 2015, the white plastic MacBook was available to schools for as low as $600.

Prices can be somewhat lower for the hardware when purchased in quantity by a school, but Apple educational solutions generally bundle support and software up-front. This can appear to inflate the contract cost instead of it being obscured by long-term ad hoc support needs.

Apple did make some strides towards better educational support in 2016, Futuresource noted. This included introducing a Classroom app for teachers, and multi-user support on the iPad, if only for students.

The company often touts its presence in schools, for instance drawing attention through visits by executives like CEO Tim Cook.

Futuresource observed that both Apple and Google were relatively marginal players outside the U.S. last year. While Apple held 11 percent of the market and Google about 23 percent (including Android), Windows devices dominated at 65 percent, growing significantly since 2014.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 3,612member
    Sad, but the reality is that most schools will use what is the cheapest, not the best.  My nephews use Chromebooks in school and it just pains me to see the frustrations in their faces when those cheap pieces of junk act up.  
    macpluspluscalijahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 83
    I'm as big an iPad fan as they come, and even I think that ChromeBooks are a far better solution for classrooms.
    vukasikaeumaeusbirkoGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 83
    sflocal said:
    Sad, but the reality is that most schools will use what is the cheapest, not the best.  My nephews use Chromebooks in school and it just pains me to see the frustrations in their faces when those cheap pieces of junk act up.  
    The advantage to a ChromeBook is that if it acts up, toss it out and unpack a new one, and your're up and running in 5 minutes. 
    vukasikaravnorodomGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 83
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 253member
    then they go home, and use IPads
    vukasikatheothergeoffmacplusplusStrangeDaysjahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 83
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 2,635member
    sflocal said:
    Sad, but the reality is that most schools will use what is the cheapest, not the best.  My nephews use Chromebooks in school and it just pains me to see the frustrations in their faces when those cheap pieces of junk act up.  
    Yes I provide tech support for a school district and they see a ChromeBook for $200 and get a bunch of them and we can then just use Google Classroom. I'm not sold on these devices...its a device that does one thing and pretty much one thing only. For Windows PC's, we can get HP Streams for just a little over $250 and they work well for basic things which is all a student needs. Apple provides nothing in this pricing tier...not even close! You can get a crappy 11" MacBook Air for $849 (edu pricing) and thats as low as you can get for a Mac laptop and thats not even a great laptop. For desktops you can get a Dell 5040 for $499 with pretty good specs and they're a small form factor...Apple doesn't really compete in this space either. Sure, you can get a Mac mini, but not with those same specs for $499. It would end up being around $799-899/Mac and then you still need a display, keyboard, and mouse. You'd be better off getting iMacs in the end.

    On the other hand you're stuck spending $500 for an iPad and then you should also get 3yrs of AppleCare+, a good case and keyboard. I've mentioned this many times in other threads but Apple seriously needs to include the smart connector into ALL of its iPad lineup. One of the biggest downfalls of an iPad is the lack of a good keyboard that isn't bluetooth. The bluetooth keyboards function fine as keyboards but the batteries are constantly dead and charging them is an absolutely pain in the ass when you have a cart full of iPads. Its hard enough to get users to charge the iPads let alone a separate keyboard that uses a different connection than lighting to charge.

    Macs are just expensive for schools. We have about 100 Macs in our district and students love using them, but they're expensive up front. They are however extremely easy to manage, especially if you have a management suite such as JAMF Pro (aka Casper MDM). For that matter, iPads are also easily managed with JAMF Pro (Casper MDM). We very rarely have issues with our Macs...PC's on the other hand can have its own set of issues.

    In the end, schools are trying to save money and they can get this device for $200 and also have a pretty much free Classroom suite (Google Classroom) to go along with them. Apple on the other hand has absolutely nothing for the classroom. They depend on apps for iPads and Macs. That means there's a cost and it can be a significant cost if you have thousands of Apple devices. Apple does have Apple Classroom, but that doesn't do anything compared to Google Classroom or Office 365, both of which have classroom specific apps in their suite. iCloud does nothing for schools as far as classroom stuff goes.

    Maybe in the consumer world Apple can successfully play with the upper pricing tier, but its not working as much anymore in the K-12 market, perhaps even Higher-Ed.
    edited March 2 vukasikacanukstormravnorodombrian greenelijahgbb-15fotoformatirelandGeorgeBMacjony0
  • Reply 6 of 83
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,142member
    "according to new research"
       ...performed by research firms funded by Microsoft and Google.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 83
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 867member
    stickista said:
    sflocal said:
    Sad, but the reality is that most schools will use what is the cheapest, not the best.  My nephews use Chromebooks in school and it just pains me to see the frustrations in their faces when those cheap pieces of junk act up.  
    The advantage to a ChromeBook is that if it acts up, toss it out and unpack a new one, and your're up and running in 5 minutes. 
    The mentality of the disposable society, who has no concern for the health of the environment for future generations, summed up and showcased with this one sentence... Disgusting.
    vukasikaandrewj5790pscooter63jkichline
  • Reply 8 of 83
    qwweraqwwera Posts: 162member
    There is no need for schools as underfunded as they are to use Apple products. Much too expensive for a product that is moving at such a quick pace. And much too expensive in how brutal a classroom will be towards them. And no way for a overtaxed teacher to fiddle with since there is no way to easily configure a classroom of iOS devices remotely. 

    Ios as it is today is not classroom friendly on the OS side or the cost side. 
    This coming from an education side and with friends on the inside as well. Chrome books are the best solution for that classroom. This is an unbiased response. Just the sobering truth.
    canukstormeumaeusGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 83
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 867member

    stickista said:
    I'm as big an iPad fan as they come, and even I think that ChromeBooks are a far better solution for classrooms.
    Spoken by someone who has obviously never used a junker ChromeBook, nor who values their privacy and is willing to hand it over to Google on a silver platter.
    andrewj5790bb-15awilliams87jkichlineGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 83
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 2,635member
    qwwera said:
    There is no need for schools as underfunded as they are to use Apple products. Much too expensive for a product that is moving at such a quick pace. And much too expensive in how brutal a classroom will be towards them. And no way for a overtaxed teacher to fiddle with since there is no way to easily configure a classroom of iOS devices remotely. 

    Ios as it is today is not classroom friendly on the OS side or the cost side. 
    This coming from an education side and with friends on the inside as well. Chrome books are the best solution for that classroom. This is an unbiased response. Just the sobering truth.
    With proper management tools, you can configure and manage iOS devices (and Macs) remotely very easily. Its called an MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution. We use Jamf Pro to manage our iPads (and our Macs) and its great. I can have all the management setup before the iPads even get at our door so when we take them out of the box we could literally just hand them out and after connecting them to wifi, they set themselves up automatically along with pushing any necessary apps, web clips, setting up folder layouts, restricting what apps they can use (include the App/iTunes Store), etc, etc. Yes, its a pain in the butt managing them individually, or using Apple Configurator...its very easy to manage them using an MDM and a good MDM. 

    You can also use a management system provided to Google to manage ChromeBooks and you can use SCCM to manage Windows devices. All platforms have a management solution. Some work better than others and some are restricted by what the device can or can't do. 
    edited March 2 magman1979macplusplusbrian greenbb-15pscooter63irelandjkichlinejony0
  • Reply 11 of 83
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 51member
    Apple priced itself right out of that market, and also other markets. It's all a matter of balance. If they go for profits, they'll make those profits, at the expense of some mind share from people who cannot afford Apple stuff. Even for me, I am watching carefully for deals of refurbished or used Apple equipment, I can't just afford to buy new devices from them, especially now that you cannot upgrade them. In my opinion, Apple is making a mistake, just like they are making a mistake for not including a consumer, non-pro 15" laptop. This is not about quality/non-quality and race to the bottom, but about protecting your image and ecosystem itself. Schools are especially important, because loyalty which can be ingrained early. So, yes, price matters, not just quality. Or, quality, yes, but at what price?
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 83
    The teacher facing app for iPad is much simpler and easier to use. We currently use chromebooks, and they're trash. I hate them with a passion, the kids hate them, and we waste valuable class time fiddling to get them to work correctly. They're too open because they're a browser based OS and the kids have attention issues anyway. They're awful. Investigating iPads has shown me that we could keep the kids better focused because of the app-based OS, (and honestly, the onscreen keyboard is perfectly fine 90% of the time).
    edited March 2 magman1979brian greenbb-15vmarksjkichline
  • Reply 13 of 83
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 108member
    My kids have iPads and I'm not sold in them, either. It's a $500 liability for the parents, we have to pay for a keyboard to make it at all useful for typing, and even then it's a non-standard size, random connection problems prevent them from doing their homework, and they have the constant distraction of the internet so I have to constantly monitor that they're doing homework and not on you tube.  And all of this is to accomplish very little that couldn't be done without an iPad. In the end, I see a ton of money being spent on technology without significant benefit. 

    bb-15
  • Reply 14 of 83
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,584member
    There are ways for Apple to compete better on price while still maintaining quality. 

    For example, make an ARM based MacBook with 128 GB SSD and an education-specific iCloud service. 

    Switching from Intel to ARM and cutting the SSD, combined with market segmentation, could probably get the MacBook under $1,000. 

    Alternatively, keep the MBA form factor around just for the education market and put ARM in that. Now we're talking maybe a $500 machine. 

    andrewj5790
  • Reply 15 of 83
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,219member
    sflocal said:
    Sad, but the reality is that most schools will use what is the cheapest, not the best. 
    They shouldn't buy the absolute cheapest that is just stupid. There are some Chromebooks that are very highly rated from $250 - $400. They come with all of the apps necessary for schoolwork, and in some cases even a little more than iPads come with, but the third party apps are pretty sparse compared to iOS. Chromebooks certainly have a better keyboard though. The one thing I would be concerned about is that you can't really trust Google to not save personal information of kids who are registered in a school group, even though they said they don't, but it was later discovered that they did anyway, so now they say they really don't save info anymore, believe us.
    ireland
  • Reply 16 of 83
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,476member
    sflocal said:
    Sad, but the reality is that most schools will use what is the cheapest, not the best.  
    Step over a dollar to save a dime. Yep, that's our public schools.
    andrewj5790brian green
  • Reply 17 of 83
    qwwera said:
    There is no need for schools as underfunded as they are to use Apple products. Much too expensive for a product that is moving at such a quick pace. And much too expensive in how brutal a classroom will be towards them. And no way for a overtaxed teacher to fiddle with since there is no way to easily configure a classroom of iOS devices remotely. 

    Ios as it is today is not classroom friendly on the OS side or the cost side. 
    This coming from an education side and with friends on the inside as well. Chrome books are the best solution for that classroom. This is an unbiased response. Just the sobering truth.
    I think your last sentence misspells "just an uninformed opinion". No offense, but do you even know what you're talking about? Apple has a leasing program that allows you to maintain the latest hardware and then they have a partner buy back the hardware at the end of the lease, which makes them cost less than the up front price. So, you can keep up with technology pretty easily.
  • Reply 18 of 83
    eightzero said:
    sflocal said:
    Sad, but the reality is that most schools will use what is the cheapest, not the best.  
    Step over a dollar to save a dime. Yep, that's our public schools.
    This^^^
  • Reply 19 of 83
    aawordyaawordy Posts: 5member
    The article states: "Versus 2015, iPads fell a percentage point to just 5 percent of devices in the American K-12 segment, while Macs shrank five points to 14 percent, Futuresource Consulting said on Thursday. "

    However, the graph does not match that info. Which is correct? The graph or the the text. Please update. 
  • Reply 20 of 83
    Much of what has been mentioned in previous comments is true. But more central to the question is that stubborn 2/5's in society who for whatever reason, have a political/moral/aping negative attitude against Apple and the supposed 'progressive' agenda.
    The reason this is exceptionally relevant in this discussion is because, those good meaning souls have decisively wedged their way into majority voting positions in school administrations and school boards throughout America.
    the best interest of the children, education, long term use/value, tech etc., goes by the wayside.
    Apple is an easy target!
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