According to the latest data from IDC, Google, for the first time ever, has overtaken Apple in United States schools. The research firm claims that Google shipped 715,000 Chromebooks to schools in the third quarter, while Apple shipped 702,000 iPads to schools. Chromebooks as a whole now account for a quarter of the educational market (via FT).
IDC says that the lower-cost of Chromebooks when compared to iPads is a huge factor for school districts. Chromebooks start at $199, while last year’s iPad Air, with educational discounts applied, costs $379. The research firm also says that many school corporations prefer the full keyboard found on Chromebooks instead of the touchscreen found on iPads. Some schools that use iPads, however, supply students with a keyboard case as well, but that only further increases the cost of iPads compared to Chromebooks. IT departments also tend to favor Chromebooks because they are simpler to manage when compared to iPads.
The US education market is important to Apple, so it’s remarkable to see Chromebooks do so well there. In the meantime, here in The Netherlands, I’ve still yet to see one in the wild.
My Wife is a teacher and she said that the reason for the difference is almost exclusively due to Microsoftâ€™s delay in releasing Office for the iPad. Apparently schools were almost universally waiting to make the purchase until office was available. Office 365 is free for students.