In the TechRepublic post Chromebooks leapfrog iPads in US education market for first time, here’s why Conner Forrest points out that Chromebooks got to 20% marketshare of the education market worldwide and nearly 50% share in the US education market.
Why is Google taking control of the market share?
- Lower hardware costs – some Chromebooks come in below $200.
- Lower management costs – simple management console and no imaging costs.
- Students prefer Chromebooks to iPads – in grades 3-12 overwhelming preference for Chromebooks. Younger students benefit from the touch screen of the iPad.
- Web-based apps – majority of major educational software is now available online.
- Google Classroom – Collaborative integration of Google Docs, Drive, and Gmail. Nothing native to the iPad provides the same service.
Cost aside, Google Chromebooks provide a much simpler and easier to use ecosystem for students, teachers and administrators than the iPad.
This could be a huge blow to Apple because the education market has been one of Apple’s keys to success. With their continued inability to grow their iCloud service into anything that remotely offers the power of Google Docs/Apps for education I don’t see them regaining the Educational market share in the US and would expect to see their world wide Educational share decline as well.
I think that this is also an example of Google beating Apple at is own game – simplicity. Over the years people (myself included) have been willing to spend the premium dollar on the iPhone, iPads and other Apple products in general because they are so simple to use. The iPhone, iPad and other Apple devices work so well together that they required minimal management. Once you learn all of Apple’s idiosyncrasies you are up and running.
Google’s products have matured to the point were they are equally simple to use and with the added infrastructure of Google Classroom and Google Apps for Education Google offers a management simplicity that Apple has not been able to match.
As much as I enjoy using my MacBook Air, my iPad or my iPhone I can only tolerate iTunes and iTunesU and other Apple management tools. The wonderful option is using the best of both worlds. For the most part I use Apple hardware but for almost everything else Google is my first choice.
It will be interesting to see how this continues to develop. Are you Google or Apple purist or are you a hybrid user?