Google Chromebooks Continue To Trample Apple Macs And Microsoft PCs In U.S. School Systems

If you have a kiddo in the American public school system, they likely are toting around a Chromebook, which runs Google's Chrome OS. A recent study of PC sales in the K-12 sector indicate that long-running favorite Apple is losing the battle in the classroom.

Apple’s iPads and Mac notebooks were once kings of the playground and accounted for roughly half of the devices used in American classrooms in 2013. This number has steadily dropped, however, due to the affordability of Chromebooks. In 2016, Chromebooks accounted for 58% of the 12.8 million shipped devices, while macOS devices fell to 19%. This was a fairly significant change from 2015 in which Chromebooks dominated 50% of the market, while Apple claimed 25%. Microsoft Windows tablets and laptops held unto 22% of the market in both 2015 and 2016.

student with macbook

Chromebooks are not only less expensive than your typical Apple computer, but have long boasted a strong range of productivity tools. Educators and students have enjoyed the benefits of G-suite, easy integration with third party-tools and device management, and task management/distribution through Google Classroom. Apple, however, only recently launched its Classroom app this past year.

Will Apple’s Classroom app and education focused functionality updates on iOS 9.3 help the company to regain dominance in public education? Pricing remains a big issue in most school districts, especially as education budgets continue to shrink. Microsoft may actually be the biggest threat to Google’s reign, as the company and its partners recently announced a range of Windows devices that all come in under $300. It has also introduced “InTune” for Education, which is similar to the Google Management Console and costs the same.

students using computers

Microsoft is also the more popular choice outside of the United States. Global sales, however, decreased by 26% to 13.6 million units. Areas like Latin America, which are known for large scale PC deployments, faced low oil revenue and fluctuating exchange rates. Many economists, however, believe that nearly 16 million units will be shipped in 2017. Chromebooks appears to be making strides in Northern Europe, therefore non-American classrooms may be seeing more Chromebooks in their future as well.