Some Aussie schools dumping Macs ‘due to cost’

“The PC versus Mac debate has once again been ignited, this time in a campaign to raise awareness of the plight of teachers in Australia reporting a dwindling level of support for Apple laptops in schools,” Louisa Hearn reports for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Hearn reports, “Greg Sharp, president of the Australian Mac Users Group, said Australian education departments seem to have declared war on Macs. ‘It’s not a publicised war but none the less it’s a fight to the death,’ he writes on the Ausmug website.”

Hearn reports, “He said many teachers had come to rely on Apple Macs as teaching aids and were unwilling to move to the PC platform and sacrifice the specialist education tools and software available on the platform. However maintaining these laptops was proving increasingly difficult, he said. ‘Defence Forces and Secret Service organisations throughout the world have embraced Macs because the Unix core gives them much greater inherent security and virus immunity. Yet if those in charge of the Department of Education & Training have their way Macintosh computers will disappear from Australian schools,’ he writes.”

“According to Mr Sharp, he was first alerted to the situation by teachers in WA, but had since unearthed wider support problems across other states,” Hearn reports. “In WA, teachers complain of a stalemate between the DET and Apple in renewing the long-established “Laptops For Teachers ” program, while in NSW, there have been reports of seemingly generous schemes to exchange old Macs for new PCs, said Mr Sharp.”

Hearn reports, “IDC’s latest PC Tracker data names Apple as the number one supplier of notebook computers to education markets in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2005. However in terms of overall investment in hardware, the market has become increasingly fragmented with HP, Dell, IBM/Lenovo, Acer all claiming greater market share than Apple this year, said Phillip Allen, research Manager at IDC.”

Hearn reports, “”The Victorian Department of Education said schools in the state had experienced a decline in the use of Apple Macs from 20 per cent usage in 2000 to 7 per cent today. ‘Schools cannot afford to operate a dual platform system and most have opted to go down the PC route due to cost,’ said a spokesperson.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What exactly is so difficult about Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)? You’d think that the “educated” would be best able to grasp the concept, wouldn’t you?

Directions for Department of Education types worldwide:
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Forget all of the other reasons (better quality hardware and software, the ability to run all major OSes and applications, lower support costs, higher productivity, fun vs. frustration, etc.), Windows’ constant, unending, and costly malware problems alone makes Apple’s Macintosh the only real choice for smart personal computer buyers, regardless of whether they’re buying for schools, businesses, or homes.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Get a Mac: Viruses, spyware cost U.S. consumers $7.8 billion over last two years – August 08, 2006
Pfeiffer Consulting: Mac vs Windows: Total Cost of Ownership, Productivity and Return on Investment – March 30, 2006
Apple Mac is #1 in European education market, pushes Dell down into second place – February 03, 2006
FBI: Viruses, spyware, other computer-related crimes cost U.S. businesses $67.2 billion per year – February 01, 2006
Windows to Mac switchers: recommendations and Total Cost of Ownership analysis – September 29, 2005


  1. Funny how the rest of the world is finally catching on to the Mac, but school systems – which have known about it for years – are going backwards. Methinks it has more to do with politics than cost or any other excuse they use.
    Now that Macs do Windows, you’d think sticking with Apple would be a no-brainer.

  2. Unfortunately, I think this shows one of Apple’s perennial weaknesses, i.e. it seems that most of the execs who head overseas Apple ops are incompetent, revolving-door boobs. I have the image that these execs would feel right at home at Fry’s Electronics, i.e. they just shuffle around constantly looking busy while in reality they are slacking off from 9 to 5. Then after they’ve put in a prequisite amount of time to pad their resume, they jump ship for another company where they can goof off and delegate even more at higher pay.

    Seriously, I think this issue is totally symptomatic of clueless execs running Apple’s overseas operations as they try to piss off as many customers as they possibly can. Certainly, Apple Korea seemed content with sub 1% marketshare during the years that I lived there.

    Steve really needs to clean house and bring in really qualified people who are committed to the Mac, who have the idea that selling more Mac is good business!

  3. Well, if it’s important for the kids to use what they will be using when the enter the work force, why not use PCs? After all, in 1974, my high school had a computer for us to learn on, just like we woud use in the work force. Boy am I glad I learned to code Fortran on punch cards. It has come in handy SO many times since then!

  4. hasn’t happened in my school. we have about 150 macs here, and are constantly buying more.

    i love the fact that the school uses macs, cause i have a macbook and it makes things alot easier. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Just to clarify my post above, the reason why this is ultimately Apple dropping the ball is that Apple Australia is clearly letting the whole myth about PCs being less expensive not only perpetuate, but thrive. It doesn’t take much schmoozing and institutional hand-holding to get school admins to realize the folly of going PC-only. Yet, that’s precisely the problem. Apple Australia most likely is offended by the idea that they have to make sales calls to universities and such. Basically, the execs there are still stuck in the “Apple of the 1990s” in terms of their arrogance and lazy-ass do-nothing attitude.

  6. Ever think that perhaps pricing is indeed the real issue here???

    I believe Apple Australia’s pricing policy has been a hinderance to the wider adoption of Macs in the past. I don’t know how many times I’ve recommended to people to buy Macs, only to be told that they’re over the person’s budget.

    I remember paying AU$5K for systems which were only US$2.5K. It’s not quite that bad these days, but still pretty bad e.g. $2.5K for a MacPro (ex state taxes), in Oz it’s $4K inc 10% GST) Yes, exchange rates and taxes do play a factor in the price, but I doubt Apple Australia pays US retail prices for their equipment. At current exchange and tax rates, the machine should be ~AU$3600.

    Meanwhile, PCs can be had for a lot less.

    Outside of the USA, I get the feeling that Apple’s products are still relatively expensive in the respective local currencies, even if the computers are better equipped.

  7. Open Source advocates have seen this before. The usual culprit is Microsoft, who’s lobbyists infest state legislatures throughout the land and I’ll bet they also spew their poison in foreign political bodies. Microsoft will make deals that seem to make heroes out of the politicians and bureaucrats who they corrupt. They will often get legislation passed – which they actually write for the politicians – to lock out the competition by rigging the procurement rules. Dig a little deeper and your bound to find a Redmond maggot.

  8. macromancer, you’re right.

    A lot of Aussie kids cannot even read or spell to a decent standard. But I think that is slowly happening world wide. Thanks to the wonders of texting.

    As for the Macs. Your’re getting 2 computers for the price of 1 and a half.

  9. There’s a search function at the bottom of each of these pages!?!??

    Learn somethin’ new everyday!

    But yeah, this definitely isn’t just a problem in Australia. Definitely a politics sort of thing…of course, what isn’t??

  10. >Basically, the execs there are still stuck in the “Apple of the 1990s” in terms of their arrogance and lazy-ass do-nothing attitude.>

    I believe that totaly. You have to schmooze-wine and dine EVERYONE in any government office to keep your product to the front. Even more so in the USA. I had to go to Oregon and Seattle just to have lunch with some jerk who was on the take–or I didn’t keep the contract. From San Diego yet!! It’s the same everywhere. Glad I’m retired now.

    No worries mate.

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