Kansas school district dumps Apple Macs for Dell PCs

“They weren’t comparing apples to oranges,” Diane Gasper-O’Brien reports for The Hays Daily News [Hayes, Kansas]. “But when school board members in Hays USD 489 compared Apples to Dells, the price tag on this bag of Apples was just too high.”

“So the board voted 5-1 on Wednesday night to go with Dells — a PC brand — for the next technology lease for the district,” Gasper-O’Brien reports.

“The Hays district is in its final year of a three-year lease with Apple, from which it is leasing 1,800 computers yearly, including 1,450 laptops — 1,100 at Hays High School alone. The the new four-year lease with Dell will begin June 1. The district decided to switch to a four-year lease agreement to help spread the cost through an additional year,” Gasper-O’Brien reports.

“The difference in total price between the two proposals for the four-year lease was $200,000. ‘I don’t think we have any choice,’ board member Greg Schwartz said,” Gasper-O’Brien reports.

“At a technology work session earlier this month, school board members and the district’s technology committee decided to keep the annual amount coming out of capital outlay to $920,000 or less. Dell’s proposal was $919,909, while Apple’s was $945,295,” Gasper-O’Brien reports. “With all bids and all budgets included, the four-year total from Apple was right at $4.3 million, while Dell’s was $4.1 million.”

“‘This recommendation will meet our needs and serve what we need to have served in the most economical way possible,’ Woods said. While Woods said she knows some district employees would prefer staying with Apple, she thinks everyone will be on board as ‘team players’ come summer,” Gasper-O’Brien reports.

Gasper-O’Brien reports, “Woods said the Apple laptops will be available for purchase by the general public when the new computers come in. She and VonLintel will release the process for buying those laptops later this week.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, how much will Hays school system be allocating for antivirus software and subscriptions? How will they replace iLife? What are their additional software costs? Has Hays factored in Mac vs. PC support costs? What are the estimates for Total Cost of Ownership and was that factored into the decision or was sticker price paramount or the only consideration? Did they understand that Apple Macs are OS-unlimited while the Dell PCs are OS-limited?

We feel sorry for Hays students and teachers today. Too bad the wrong decision was made. Macs are less expensive than Windows PCs: http://www.macvspc.info/pages/03.html

Contact info:
• Board of Education, USD 489 Board Members, boe@hays489.k12.ks.us
• Fred Kaufman, USD 489 Superintendent, fkaufman@hays489.k12.ks.us

Related articles:
Kansas school district can’t see much difference between Apple Macs and Windows PCs – April 17, 2007
Kansas City schools plan calls for 6,000 Apple Macs – April 12, 2007
Chicago area school district tech director wants to phase out Macs for ‘more appropriate technology’ – December 18, 2006
Harvard Medical School CIO picks Mac OS X over Linux and Windows – November 30, 2006
4,800 students in Microsoft’s backyard receive Apple Mac notebooks – September 10, 2006
Michigan middle school students get 350 Apple iBooks – August 30, 2006
Nebraska high school provides nearly 200 Apple iBooks to all students – August 28, 2006
The Seattle Times: Apple Macbook is best computer for school – August 26, 2006
BusinessWeek’s Stephen Wildstrom recommends students pick Mac over Windows for first time – June 15, 2006
State of Maine awards middle school contract to Apple Computer for 34,000 iBooks – March 21, 2006
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Ireland to roll out Apple Mac solutions in 3,500 primary schools – March 17, 2006
Apple beats Dell: lands deal to supply 12,675 iBooks to Henrico County Middle Schools – February 09, 2006
Group questions wisdom of dumping Macs in favor of HP Windows PCs in Boulder, CO schools – February 06, 2006
After dropping Macs, Henrico officials work to protect students’ new Dells from viruses – August 29, 2005
Students and teachers: going Mac could save you money on software – August 23, 2005
The Seattle Times: Apple iBook ‘a great laptop for students’ (with no viruses or spyware) – August 22, 2005
Chatham County (NC) rolls out 1,000 of eventual 7,400 Apple iBooks for students and teachers – August 17, 2005
Henrico citizens stampede for $50 Apple iBooks – August 16, 2005
Henrico blasted for choosing Dell laptops with Windows XP over Apple iBooks with Mac OS X Tiger – May 09, 2005


  1. This is, unfortunately, typical of the mindset everywhere. It’s like buying a mediocre vehicle and not considering the cost of 15 MPG fuel (if you care about cost).

    This is why Dell will stay ahead in market share, but won’t make as much money as Apple. This is why Windoze is so dominant.

    Co’s like Dell have no way of making money without being mass sellers. Stupid stupid stupid. The whole thing.

    These school board members have no clue. They just see numbers on the paper.

  2. Clearly one of the factors they did NOT take into consideration is whether Dell will be in business by the end of their lease.

    Please please Lord,,,,, I am trying hard NOT to make any Kansas jokes……help me….

  3. How much can you sell the laptops for at the end of the lease — add that money into the mix.

    Is Kansas in a declining phase, or what? Who would choose dells over macs with iLife when you’re an educator? That TCO must’ve looked outrageously good for the dells.

  4. Why do I think that iLife is not a consideration for an educational computer? And who cares about multi-OS capability (unless the School Board required it in their RFP).

    The antivirus cost is a valid concern, as are additional software costs (though those may not apply, depending on what kind of licensing deal the Board has in place).

    The higher average support costs may or may not be a concern, depending on whether or not the schools already have the people in place to support a Windows platform, or on other considerations. I work in a mainly Mac shop (roughly 90% Mac at the end user’s desk) and certainly have not seen the PC users cost us more in support than the Macs have.

  5. wow!

    Its amazing how short sighted some people can be..

    No doubt…IT support for he new Dells will quickly absorb the $200,000 difference….and over 4 years…they will pay a lot more than that!

    Not too mention software cost for switching.


    Crap will always cost less than quality(in the short run)

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.