Even Google was surprised to hear how popular Chromebooks have become in the classroom, so you can only imagine how their competitors must be feeling. New data is suggesting that Chromebooks have been a resounding success as teachers, students, and administrators are embracing them en masse. As a result, more than half of devices used in education are now running Chrome OS.
To really appreciate the rapid growth of Chromebooks you have to take note of the fact that in 2012 they had barely 1% of this market. Just three years later, Chrome OS is being used across 4.4 million, or 51%, of the total 8.9 million devices, with 30,000 new devices being activated every day. Adding Android devices to the mix makes Google’s dominance here even more substantial. These statistics do however apply only to grades K – 12; things lean heavier in Apple’s favor in the collegiate levels. And as a reminder, this is US only, with worldwide numbers painting a much rosier picture for Microsoft where they managed 47% of all sales, while Google was close behind with 40% when combining Chrome OS and Android. Apple brought up the rear with with OSX and iOS, securing 13% of total sales.
Of course Google’s success comes at a cost to their competitors. Microsoft share has dropped from 43% to 24% and Apple’s hold has been reduced by more than half from 52% to the same 24% as their once dominance weakens due to expensive hardware and disappointing performance.
Why is the classroom so important?
Apple, Microsoft and Google have all been focusing on the classroom in recent years with a certain fervor, and there is a very good reason for that. It is arguable the only market for laptops and tablets that has been growing while going limp in pretty much every other sector. Schools not only bring huge orders and hefty budgets, but also steady growth.
With so many devoted competitors, why are Chromebooks finding this level of success? The main reasons are value, ease of implementation, and maintenance. Capable Chromebooks can be found for $150, or even less. And if you ever used one, you already know that setting one up is very easy. Updates are automatic and swift, while viruses and security issues are not a concern. Apple devices, although capable, are much pricier, while Microsoft runs into both pricing and maintenance/security issues. Both Apple and Microsoft options also take more resources to set up and properly implement. Google’s simple and affordable hardware is further strengthened by their very enticing education tools that can be used by teachers to design curriculums, students to create and submit their work, and administrators to update content with individuals or entire schools with great ease.
2016 will see a greater focus on 2 in 1 devices ( I hate that label). Chrome OS already comes on some touch-enabled laptops and there are a couple of convertible variants, such as the Asus Flip, that can be used for content creation, consumption and display. Microsoft is even stronger in this area with a wide range of convertible laptops and tablet/laptop hybrids, including their own Surface line. They are also planning to release more sub-$300 hardware and are partnering up with Lightspeed Systems, a cloud-based device management and software company, to bring much of the same functionality as Google’s education tools. Apple meanwhile is trying to create a more functional experience with upgrades to iOS including split-screen multitasking and the iPad Pro (Smart Keyboard and Pencil), while also offering teachers real-time student data analytics.
Are you as surprised as Google by Chromebooks’ incredible growth? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or on social media.Source: CNBC