According to the latest data from IDC, Google, for the first time ever, has overtaken Apple in United States schools. The research firm claims that Google shipped 715,000 Chromebooks to schools in the third quarter, while Apple shipped 702,000 iPads to schools. Chromebooks as a whole now account for a quarter of the educational market. IDC says that the lower-cost of Chromebooks when compared to iPads is a huge factor for school districts.
As of the third quarter of 2014, Chromebooks have displaced iPads as the most popular new devices shipping to U.S. schools. This is a huge win for Google in a market historically dominated by Apple and Microsoft. According to the Financial Times and IDC, “Google shipped 715,500 of the low-cost laptops into US schools in the third quarter, compared with 702,000 iPads.” Even more striking, the $199 and up Chromebooks have gone from zero to a quarter of the educational market in only two years. The iPad is the fastest-growing product in Apple’s history, but that growth is clearly slowing. As recently as a year ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed that “iPads make up 94 percent of the market for education tablets.” As impressive as this is, this statistic obscures the fact that tablets have not been as useful in the educational setting as promised. While Apple has been pumping iPads into schools, Google has gotten many of the same schools hooked on its free Google Apps for Education Suite.