Over the last three years, Apple has been losing ground in the education sector to Google, as schools shift from iPads and Macs to low-cost Chromebooks.
Google has placed heavy focus on expanding Chrome OS usage in schools, particularly for students from kindergarten to 12th grade. It seems that the company's initiatives are paying off, as Google has consistently been taking away market share from Apple since 2014.
Google Beating Apple In The Education Sector
According to a report by FutureSource Consulting on mobile PCs used in the K-12 education market, sales of laptops and tablets into the sector have increased by 18 percent to 12.6 million units, compared to 10.7 million units in 2015.
Leading the charge in the battle of the operating systems that these laptops and tablets use is Google's Chrome OS, which had a 58 percent market share for 2016. This continues the significant growth of the operating system, from the 50 percent market share that it held in 2015 and the 38 percent market share that it held in 2014.
The percentage of mobile PCs utilizing Chrome OS being sold into the K-12 education market has grown over the past three years at the expense of Apple. For 2016, Apple's iOS and Mac OS only held a collective 19 percent market share in the sales of mobile PCs into the sector, as its hold continues to loosen from a 25 percent market share in 2015 and a 34 percent market share in 2014.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has steadily held about less than a quarter of the market share, now finding itself second behind Google. The company and its Windows operating system held a 22 percent market share last year, similar to the 22 percent market share held in 2015 and just slightly lower than the 25 percent market share held in 2014.
Why Is Apple Losing To Google In Schools?
Apple's iPad tablets and MacBook laptops accounted for around half of the mobile devices that were sold to United States schools in 2013. However, three years later, Google now holds that distinction, with Apple's devices dropping to less than one-fifth of the market and in third place behind Microsoft.
Google countered Apple's iPads and MacBooks with low-cost Chrome OS-powered Chromebooks, with several partners releasing various models over the last few years. Cheap Chromebooks released by brands such as Acer, HP, and Lenovo focused on education helped Google overtake Apple in the sector. Some of these Chromebooks are also sturdy, rugged models, which makes sense as computers for children.
Perhaps the most important factor for Google's rise over Apple, however, is the cloud-based Chrome OS itself. Despite Apple's initiatives that are focused on the education sector, the simplicity of the Chrome OS for students to use and for administrators to manage has allowed Google to beat Apple in the K-12 market.
Google Unveils New HP Chromebook
One such example on why Google is taking away market share from Apple is the new Chromebook model unveiled by HP named the Chromebook x360 11 G1 Education Edition. Launching in the middle of April, the Chromebook will feature a rugged 360-degree convertible construction, USB-C charging, and an optional stylus.
The laptop is nowhere near as powerful as Apple's MacBooks, but its basic features and specifications, leading to a low price, makes it a perfect choice for schools and their students.