Google, Microsoft and Apple are the three major players in the lucrative education technology market. But, for the first time, Google has recently  taken a huge lead over its rivals,  thanks to its Chromebook devices that now account for more than 50% of all the devices used in the U.S. classrooms, claims Futuresource Consulting in a new report.

Google Chromebooks Dominate US Classrooms

Big, but surprising, win for Google

Google’s dominance comes as a big surprise to most analysts as Chromebooks accounted for less than 1% share in the U.S. classrooms in 2012, says a report from CNBC. Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder said that it was a known fact that Chromebooks had made progress in education, but this much success is “frankly shocking.”

“Chromebooks made incredibly quick inroads in just a couple of years, leaping over Microsoft and Apple with seeming ease,” the analyst said.

For Google, the numbers get more impressive if we combine Chromebooks with devices running on Android. For the third-quarter, the search giant accounted for a massive 53% share of K-12 devices purchased by schools and school districts. The rapid gains for Google come at the cost of its rivals.

Apple lost more than 50% of the market share it held three years back. From 52%, Apple’s market share has been reduced to 24% while Microsoft’s share declined from 43% to 24%. In totality, 8.9 million devices were sold to K-12 schools and school districts, of which 4.4 million are Chromebooks. In simple terms, 30,000 new Chromebooks were activated in schools every day.

Edtech market – luring tech firms

According to Rajen Sheth, director of product management for Android and Chrome in business and education, “It’s been amazing to us to see that growth happen just in that short amount of time.” Sheth further said that the overall market for devices in education has grown notably, and the major share has been taken by Chromebooks.

Owing to slow PC and tablet sales in other industries, the edtech market is emerging as an important growth sector for the tech giants. According to Futuresource analyst Mike Fisher, it is one of the few bright spots in the market “That’s why we are seeing this battle in education, they all know how important the education segment is, it’s critical.”

In pre-market trading today, Google parent Alphabet shares were up 0.49% at $772. Year to date, the stock is up almost 45%, while in the last month, it is up almost 3%.