U.S. Classrooms Slowly Giving Up On Apple Macs and iPads

Apple has lost major share in the U.S. education market over the past three years as rivals Chromebook and Windows are moving ahead in the race. In 2016, the Apple’s iPads and Mac notebooks dropped to the third position, with Google leading the segment.

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iPads and Macs losing to Chromebooks

In 2016, schools and colleges spent a total of $7.35 billion on mobile devices and desktops, of which Apple’s share was $2.8 billion, a drop from $3.2 billion in 2015, according to data collected by IDC. Google’s Chromebook garnered revenue of $1.9 billion, up from $1.4 billion, whereas Windows devices earned $2.5 billion, compared to $2.1 billion in 2015.

According to Futuresource Consulting, of the 12.6 million mobile devices sold to primary and secondary schools in the U.S. in 2016, Chromebooks captured the highest share, accounting for 58% of the market and up from 50% in 2015. On the other hand, the share of iPads and Mac laptops dropped to 19% from 25% over the same period. The number of Windows devices shipped was more or less the same number, for a 22% share, according to the report.

The rising popularity of Google’s Chromebooks has surely thwarted Apple’s pace, which has been marketing its computers to schools for about 40 years.

According to Futuresource education technology analyst Mike Fisher, “Apple is struggling.”

Budget-conscious schools ditch Apple

One reason could be the price, as Chromebooks and Windows devices are less expensive than Apple devices. Budget-concerned institutions are not going to distribute pricey iPads to students when more or less the same functionally is in devices offered by other companies.

Compared to MacBooks, Google Chromebooks might sometimes be available at sub-$200 prices. Experts also believe cloud-based provisioning for the Chromebooks gives it an edge. Further, the disposable cost for individual devices is low;  therefore, it does not come as a surprise that schools are going for the cheaper option, notes AppleInsider.

In comparison, the cheapest iPad Mini starts at $269 without any bulk deal. Further, the cost of a full-size iPad would be nothing less than $399, whereas the iPad Pro demands a hefty price of $599. MacBooks can easily burn a hole in your pocket as the entry-level model MacBook Air costs $999. According to AppleInsder, the Cupertino-based company shipped plastic MacBooks (costing around $600) to schools until late 2015.

On Thursday, Apple shares closed down 0.59% at $138.96. Year to date, the stock is up almost 20%, while in the last year, it is up more than 43%.