“For the first time, Chromebook sales surpassed 51% in the K-12 market nationwide in the third quarter, according to a report recently released by market researcher Futuresource Consulting,” Jon Swartz reports for USA Today. “The surge reflects a fundamental shift in how American schools are buying tech in bulk and assessing students online, placing an emphasis on low-cost, easy-to-manage machines.”

“‘It’s a tidal wave: Chrome is the clear U.S. market leader now,’ says Mike Fisher, associate director of education technology at Futuresource. He says districts are drawn to the Chromebook’s Web-based operating system, ease of use, IT manageability and $200 to $300 price range,” Swartz reports. “Chromebooks — laptops running Google’s Chrome OS as their operating systems — made significant strides, year-over-year. Chromebooks’ market share jumped to 51% from 40%. Apple products, mostly iPads but also laptops and Mac desktops, declined to 24% from 32%. Windows-based machines remained steady, at 23%.”

“Microsoft, through national contracts and Windows-based machines, remains on top for the K-12 market worldwide, with a 47% share. Chromebooks follows at 19% and Apple at 13%, says Futuresource,” Swartz reports. “Winning students at an early age is considered crucial for tech companies in the approximately $15 billion K-12 market in the U.S. Apple, through its dominance of the education market during the Steve Jobs years, helped establish its strong brand overall and shape the computing habits of millions of young Americans.”

‘The trend away from Apple products hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Cupertino, Calif. company now run by Tim Cook,” Swartz reports. “On Monday, it released education updates to its mobile operating system, version iOS 9.3 — namely, a simplified log-in and the ability to more easily share and manage iPads in schools securely — in hopes of wresting back market share. It also has shaved iPad prices.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Too little, too late for Apple?

This news is hardly surprising. After all, U.S. public education is hardly noted for its intelligence, innovation and creativity. Chromebooks are a perfect fit.

Check out the best schools: Apple Macs and iPads dominate.

Apple delivers multi-user support for iPad – in schools only – January 11, 2016
Why Apple devices are losing share to Chromebooks in U.S. public schools – December 23, 2015
Apple CEO Cook on Google Chromebooks in U.S. schools: We’re not interested in making ‘test machines’ – December 11, 2015
Apple pivoting iPad education strategy to regain its footing in face of Google Chromebook surge – December 5, 2014