How Apple lost its place in the classroom

“In Chicago yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook stepped into the auditorium at Lane Technical College Prep High School and told an audience about the future of education,” Arielle Pardes reports for Wired. “It was Apple’s first education-focused event since 2012. Back then, Apple still had the lion’s share of the education market—over half of devices shipped to schools that year ran on iOS or Mac OS—and it had a new plan to replace raggedy, expensive textbooks with cheaper digital versions made to read on a tablet. The iPad was two years old, and while it was pricey, it seemed poised to change the way students could learn.”

“Not anymore. Today’s classrooms are powered by Chromebooks and, to a lesser extent, Windows laptops,” Pardes reports. “These are sturdy, versatile, and inexpensive machines that have revolutionized how schools incorporate technology into their classrooms. Steve Jobs wanted to put a computer in the hands of every student. But Chromebooks—not Macbooks—have made that vision a reality.”

“Last year, Chromebooks made up a whopping 58 percent of computing devices shipped to schools. That’s up from 50 percent in 2015, and 38 percent in 2014, according to data from market research firm Futuresource. New Apple devices, meanwhile, dropped to 19 percent—down from 50 percent in 2014,” Pardes reports. “It’s hard to ignore the economics of what Apple is offering: The iPad is still twice the price of a Chromebook, which start at $149, and almost twice the price of Microsoft’s Windows 10 laptop, which costs $189.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If price tags are your only criteria, you don’t know how to buy technology. Apple Macs and iPads dominate at the best schools. Only lesser schools settle for test-taking machines.

That said:

At education pricing, it’ll be $299 for the iPad, $99.99 for the keyboard case, and $49 for the Apple Pencil for a grand total of $447.99 per unit (before bulk discounts).

Good luck to educators who’d rather have Apple’s full-featured solution but are going up against Chromebook test-taking machines that start around $150. Obtuse decision-makers are going to look that those two price tags and make the wrong choice for students and teachers pretty much every single time. We commiserate.MacDailyNews, March 28, 2018

Logitech’s Rugged Combo 2 keyboard and case for Apple’s iPad has its own smart connector – March 28, 2018
Apple bids for education market with new software, new iPad – March 27, 2018
Apple takes aim at Google Chromebook with $299 iPad with Apple Pencil support for schools – March 27, 2018
Did Apple do enough to grab back education market share? – March 27, 2018
Apple unveils new 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support starting at $329 – March 27, 2018
Apple unveils ‘Everyone Can Create’ curriculum – March 27, 2018
Apple’s iWork update brings drawing, book creation and more to Pages, Numbers and Keynote – March 27, 2018
MacDailyNews presents live coverage of Apple’s March 27th ‘Field Trip’ event – March 27, 2018
Google’s Chromebooks are still spying on grade school students – April 21, 2017
Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers – October 23, 2012


  1. Many School Children, especially in the developed world, have some kind of Apple gear at home, be it an Iphone or Ipad, however when they go to school, they have to use non Apple products like Microcrap or Chrome PC and laptops. Come to think of it, its the same case in my workplace (and work places overt the world) where thanks to IT doofuses, we have to work with PC’s whereas in our personal life the gear is Apple

  2. MDM Take: If price tags are your only criteria, you don’t know how to buy technology.
    Apple Macs and iPads dominate at the best schools. Only lesser schools settle for test-taking machines.

    Thinking like this is part of the problem. I am not saying Google has the best platform, but Chromebooks are very capable machines. They are incredibly simple to manage (without the need for an expensive 3rd party MDM – Apple’s 1st party management system is a joke), and my school district has subscriptions to websites that are fun, creative, and interactive – all of which run great on Chrome OS. I am the Apple guy for my district, but it is really hard to sit in a meeting and justify purchasing Apple products en mass. They are great for very specific situations, but our money is much better spent on Chromebooks for the majority. We are a great district with great schools. Using Chromebooks does not diminish that fact. Our test scores have continually gone up since we instituted our Chromebook 1:1 initiative. Apple better figure out Google is doing right or they face a future of being a niche product line and fading in relevance (which some may argue is already happening). Time is ticking for the iPhone. You can’t ride that train forever.

        1. I like the way you framed it… “parasitic”. I could see Apple fans objections to my positions (censorship., lock-in, IT level user control, and even pricing) if Apple really closed the system up and did “everything” themselves….

          Just sayin’….

        2. Until Apple can provide viable alternatives to services provided by the companies in your list, their customers will continue to use those companies’ services. If Apple should decide tomorrow to cut them all off I’m sure Apples future will be even shorter.

  3. They need to work on pricing…..was just pricing a MacBook Pro and Lenovo that are spec for spec and the price difference is over $1000. The AppleCare is $250 and have to ship or take it to local store. Lenovo, I can get next day service for $80. For a school, what is it going to pick? Save 30k and get a better warranty with Lenovo is what most will do and will probably be what will happen here. No brainer! I would rather have Apple, but they are so over priced it is out of control and Apple has lost touch with reality. Wasn’t this bad in the past and I could spec them within $500, but it has widened.

  4. Apple better figure out FAST how to actually make their products BETTER to justify the premium I pay.

    Apple better figure out FAST how to make my perfectly functional iPhone 6+ make a simple phone call without looking at a white screen for several seconds. If they think for one second that I’m going to pony up $1000+++ for a couple of years of use, they’re out of their minds.

    The problem is not the phone, it’s the operating system. I’d like anyone to tell me how phone calls, receiving email, or looking at the self same websites has become anymore technologically advanced in the last 20 years. It’s the same stuff that we do year in and year out, yet the hardware has become “more advanced” and yet the results have become slower. You would think that by now that simple, mundane tasks would become virtually instantaneous, instead I can’t even make a simple f*%k1#g phone call without waiting for a native app to load

  5. Isn’t this a total inditement on educators in general? It shows they aren’t educated enough to understand value and proper educational tools vs raw price.

    Sure, they have a budget, but they beg and beg for more money like poplars, and my wife being a teacher, they spend every dime they have – on anything – as fast as it comes in and beg for more.

    Our state has RECORD revenues for education this year, yet they don’t have a dime. Imagine that.

    This is NOT a revenue, no money for the right tech, this is a spending issue and priorities, which the schools and IT groups are showing us, they don’t know how to budget and do the things that should be priority one – the kids – not themselves, their facilities, their new building wants, their pensions, their massive freebies with health care. How about the kids and give up something, just a wee bit? Oh no. Never… Just make the rest of everyone pay more and more and more and solve nothing…

    A bit of digression? Uh yah, but even the liberal Steve Jobs saw what a Union controlled power mongering nightmare the public school system had become – he hated it.

    Time we get a school choice voucher movement going. Seriously, it cost $12k a year to educate my first grader for 8 months? Crayons, an iPad, number and letters? I can do it for a 4th of that at a private school! And then I could be able to put the difference into a college savings bank for my kiddo!

    Okay, a lot of digression, but sheesh….

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