Jobs’ Mob has admitted that it only sold 13.3 million iPads, down nine percent from last year, but Apple CFO Luca Maestri insisted that in education, the iPad remains the tablet of choice with 85 percent share of the US education tablet market. She said that Apple had sold 13 million iPads to education customers globally.
But while Apple leads the academic market for tablets, not all schools are buying iPads to give to students; they’re also buying laptops, including Chromebooks. In otherwords, while Apple is leading tablet sales, that is because its main rival is not providing tablets.
Chromebooks run ChromeOS on what would best be described a cheap laptop hardware – although there are a few premium models like the Pixel – with an Intel CPU. Google has a number of hardware partners, including Acer, which lead the pack with 30 percent of the Chromebook market.
Apparently, sales have been so good that Google only recently added tablets to the range.
Google reported a few days ago that it sold a million Chromebooks to schools last quarter (another 800,000 were sold to consumers. While that might not look nearly as impressive as Apple’s 13 million iPads, the numbers suggest that Google could be selling as many Chromebooks to schools as Apple is selling iPads.
You can work it out. If schools bought five million iPads in the 17 months, Apple averaged under a million iPads sold to schools each quarter – an average which is less than the million Chromebooks sold.
So why are Chromebooks doing so well? They are cheaper and they have keyboards so you can do a lot more with them.