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Chromebooks Beat iPads in US School Sales For First Time

generic chromebook

Chromebooks are now outselling iPads in US schools for the first time, new education sales figures show. 

‘715,000 Chromebooks were sold to US schools in Q3 2014’

Industry research firm IDC say 715,000 Chromebooks were sold to US education institutions between July and September 2014, with IDC saying Chrome devices now command a quarter of all edu sales, as noted by the Financial Times (paywall).

While it may no longer be the ripest apple in the orchard, Apple wasn’t too far behind in sales. Cupertino shifted more than 700,000 iPads to schools during the same three-month period, and in spite of the significantly higher price tag attached.

Apples and Oranges

‘Cash-conscious schools need to get the most from each buck they spend’

Price is everything for cash-conscious schools who need to get the maximum benefit from each and every buck spent. With volume purchases pushing prices of Chromebooks as low as $149 a unit (if not lower), Chrome device share is likely continue to increase at pace, and at the expense of rivals.

Chromebooks are simpler, easier and faster to manage and deploy across a large number of students.

IDC analyst Rajani Singh credits part of the shift to the ‘active promotion’ done by Samsung, Dell and other Chrome device vendors to school districts. This push combined with the low upfront costs, easy management and ‘integrated keyboard’ are part of the reason behind their appeal.

“As the average age of the student grows the need for a keyboard becomes very important,”  Singh adds.

Growing Demand

Back in October IDC credited demand for Chrome OS devices for helping to boost consumer PC sales for the same period, the same month that Chrome chief Sundar Pichai noted that its devices were nearing a commanding 50 percent share of the education market in the US.

Having already jumped from a 5% share 18 months ago, I expect I’ll be writing an equally triumphant headline this time next year.