Google is offering a new generation of education-oriented Chromebooks

In the 1980s, schools weaned kids on the Apple IIe, including mine. It was celebrating Chromebooks' success as a top selling device across tablets and laptops in Swedish schools previous year.

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. 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. Meanwhile, school shipments of iPads and Mac laptops fell to 19 percent, from about 25 percent, over the same period, while Microsoft Windows laptops and tablets stayed relatively stable at about 22 percent.

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-priced Chromebooks.

This surge in competition has dented Apple's education revenue stream, according to research firm IDC. With Chromebook prices reaching as low as $120 on certain projects, the pricing also helped.

Google continues to gain share in the education market at Apple's expense.

In-fact, in a recent blog post by Google, the company has announced that the new launch is the follow up since Chromebooks become hugely successful in Swedish schools.

On the hardware side, Microsoft recently announced partner devices that would be priced at $189 to target Chromebooks. To date however, these developments have not stopped Google's momentum within the U.S. K-12 market.

Apple has not been sitting still. Apple attempted to outmaneuver its education rivals in 2016, announcing its Classroom app, Swift Playgrounds, and a number of other major education-focused feature updates in iOS 9.3, including the ability to share iPads.

Futuresource predicts that 2-in-1 devices will be the next big trend in education, something Apple doesn't offer. These features are designed for the specific needs of schools, says Google.

  • Arturo Norris


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