Apple Inc Vs. Google Inc: The Classroom Battle

Look’s like Chrome Books are beating Apple in the US educational market.

Does anyone have any comment on the NZ educational scene given that a Chrome Book is about half the price of an iPad Air 2?

Apple Inc (AAPL) Vs. Google Inc: The Classroom Battle

Google Inc. is now in lead over archrival Apple Inc.  in the race to become the most popular brand inside US classrooms. Google’s affordable Chromebook laptops overtook the famous Apple iPads for the first time, according to the Financial Times.

Research firm IDC states that Google shipped 715,500 Chromebooks in the third calendar quarter, compared to 702,000 iPads, becoming the top bulk-buying priority for educational authorities. A major difference between the two is price; while the low-cost laptops start at $199 apiece, iPads start at $379.

“Chromebooks are really gaining traction. The growth of Chromebook is a major concern for Apple’s iPad,” said IDC analyst Rajani Singh.

The broader education market, including higher education establishments, is still dominated by Microsoft Corporation’s  Windows devices, which have enjoyed a hegemony since long before the iPads and Chromebooks came into existence. Despite Microsoft’s head start, Google and Apple are catching up in the multibillion dollar education market.

Hewlett-Packard Company, Samsung, Dell, and Acer are some of the prominent hardware makers for Chrome OS-based laptops. According to Ms. Singh, these companies have done well in promoting the inexpensive devices to schools, whose IT departments deem Chromebooks attractive in comparison to iPads due to their “low upfront costs and simpler device management.”

Apple has achieved considerable success in its efforts to make iPads attractive to US school districts. The Apple tablets were instantly popular following their 2010 launch, but the early growth in their sales has now faded away, and in the September quarter, Apple reported a 14% year-over-year decline in iPad revenue.

Customers are not as fast in upgrading their tablets as they generally are with phones. Apple now seems to be making desperate efforts to reinvigorate iPad sales. The tech giant is rumored to be coming out with a newer, bigger iPad, only a few weeks after it unveiled the latest versions: iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

The desperation also stems from the fear that if iPad sales keep declining, Apple will be more dependent than ever on a single product – the iPhone, which seems to be a dangerous scenario. Although the iPhone is a solid moneymaker for Apple, having diversified sources for driving the company’s top line is much safer.

There is a steep price differential between Chromebooks and iPads, but that is not the only plus for the former. Chromebooks offer hardware features like an integrated keyboard, which is naturally appealing for a classroom, despite the versatility of a touch screen. Ms. Singh says: “As the average age of the student grows the need for a keyboard becomes very important.”

If, instead of a singular product line (like the iPad), one considers all of a company’s product lines, Apple still has a slight lead over Google. According to IDC’s research, Apple’s products, including the iOS devices as well as the OS X-based MacBook laptops, had a 30.9% market share in US schools and colleges in the third quarter of 2014. In comparison, Chrome OS accounted for 27.2% and Android made up 2.3% of the market. Windows’ share in the education market came in at 39.5%.

Original article by Troy Kuhn, read it here.

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