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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools 225

Nate the greatest (2261802) writes Apple thrilled investors earlier this week when they revealed that they had sold 13 million iPads to schools and claimed 85% of the educational tablet market, but that wasn't the whole story. It turns out that Apple has only sold 5 million iPads to schools since February 2013, or an average of less than a million tablets a quarter over 6 quarters. It turns out that instead of buying iPads, schools are buying Chromebooks. Google reported that a million Chromebooks were sold to schools last quarter, well over half of the 1.8 million units sold in the second quarter. With Android tablets getting better, Apple is losing market share in the consumer tablet market, and now it looks Apple is also losing the educational market to Google. Analysts are predicting that 5 million Chromebooks will be sold by the end of the year; how many of those will be sold to schools, do you think?
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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

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  • Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @05:43PM (#47525905)

    That's probably a good thing since students shouldn't be static consumers of information and tablets are really subpar for most kinds of content creation. Add in the fact that a Chromebook costs half as much as even an ipad mini and overall the schools are probably making the rational choice.

  • iPads are toys (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2014 @05:50PM (#47525949)

    The tablets other companies are making are actual tools that people can use for productivity or enjoyment. iPads are nothing more than expensive toys.

  • Outselling? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by recoiledsnake ( 879048 ) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @05:56PM (#47525991)

    Google's basically giving them away for free or extremely subsidized and then tries to make money from them by snooping on the kids' email, while Apple actually tries to make a profit from them. []

    From []

    The plaintiffs allege that Google has employed such practices since around 2010, when it began using a new technology, known as Content Onebox, that allows the company to intercept and scan emails before they reach their intended recipients, rather than after messages are delivered to users’ inboxes, regardless of whether ads are turned off.
    Mr. Fread and Mr. Carrillo say that neither they nor any other users of Google Apps for Education consented to such practices. They are seeking financial damages amounting to $100 per day of each day of violation for every individual who sent or received an email message using Google Apps for Education during a two-year period beginning in May 2011.
    While the allegations by the plaintiffs are explosive, it’s the sworn declarations of Google representatives in response to their claims that have truly raised the eyebrows of observers and privacy experts.
    Contrary to the company’s earlier public statements, Google representatives acknowledged in a September motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ request for class certification that the company’s consumer-privacy policy applies to Apps for Education users. Thus, Google argues, it has students’ (and other Apps for Education users’) consent to scan and process their emails.
    In November, Kyle C. Wong, a lawyer representing Google, also argued in a formal declaration submitted to the court in opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification that the company’s data-mining practices are widely known, and that the plaintiffs’ complaints that the scanning and processing of their emails was done secretly are thus invalid. Mr. Wong cited extensive media coverage about Google’s data mining of Gmail consumer users’ messages, as well as the disclosures made by numerous universities to their students about how Google Apps for Education functions.

  • Re:Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mystikkman ( 1487801 ) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @06:13PM (#47526107)

    Content creation? You mean only English essays, right? Can the students even install and use a proper compiler or something like AutoCAD? Photoshop?

    A heavily DRM'ed up "laptop" that no one can do anything except be forced to Google cloudservices to even login and a browser is a rational choice now? Not to mention Google Apps and email which helpfully uploads everything to the Google Cloud.

    It pulls Palladium to shame since you can't install any apps except those provided by the Google overlords.

    This proves that all the Slashdot talk about software freedom is thinly disguised Microsoft hate since everyone here seems to be pumping up heavily locked down iDevices and Chromebooks.

  • Re:What do I think? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by daemonhunter ( 968210 ) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @06:23PM (#47526173)

    The thing these programs [try] to bring isn't so much help with learning as much as EQUAL ACCESS to learning. It attempts to level the playing field between the kids at home with no pc for research and the more well-off kids with greater tech access.

    That said, it doesn't provide in home internet access, satellite or 3g coverage, so many times it seems like a wasted effort, but it allows students greater flexibility than previous generations. They aren't tied down to a classroom, or getting shuffled out of the lab so a new class can come in. They can do their work anywhere there's free wifi. Further, it adds a value to your district in less tangible ways: showing kids you trust them with not-inexpensive hardware does interesting things to their psyche.

  • by statemachine ( 840641 ) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @06:55PM (#47526441)

    USRobotics kept walking around and saying their modems were the #1 selling modem. This is analogous of what Apple is doing today.

    However, while USR was the #1 brand, most modems sold overall had the Rockwell chipset, with most brands simply adding a plastic box and different color LEDs.

    More recently, Apple claims that the iPhone is the #1 selling phone. However, phones that use Android sell the most, period.

    I shouldn't be, but I'm always surprised how religious people get when their favorite electronics company is shown to be extremely misleading. I know a guy that I'd known for years who threatened to "unfriend" simply because I refuted his claim that the iPhone was the #1 phone.

    So this iPad/Chromebook issue is just another chapter of misleading sales tactics. But if you look at what Apple actually says officially, they're very specific in the literature. Unfortunately, people will be blind to anything that might change their worldview... and any company would be nuts not to take advantage of that.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lord_mike ( 567148 ) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @07:23PM (#47526607)

    I like mine a lot. It's basically become my primary laptop. Anything that I need beyond Chrome, I can do in Linux via Crouton.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @07:31PM (#47526661)

    Content creation? You mean only English essays, right? Can the students even install and use a proper compiler or something like AutoCAD? Photoshop?

    Well you can develop webapps, there's IDEs like Codenvy and there is a version of AutoCAD 360 for Chromebooks.

    A heavily DRM'ed up "laptop" that no one can do anything except be forced to Google cloudservices to even login and a browser is a rational choice now?

    It isn't particularly "DRMed", there's nothing to stop you dual booting a full Linux distro if you want. But really if you're talking AutoCAD and Photoshop then obviously you're suggesting Windows or OS X are the necessity.

    Not to mention Google Apps and email which helpfully uploads everything to the Google Cloud.

    Well that makes it accessible from anywhere and prevents data loss from hardware failure so i'd say that's pretty damn helpful in the education environment. Though having the option to upload to DropBox or OneDrive or some other alternative would be useful.

    This proves that all the Slashdot talk about software freedom is thinly disguised Microsoft hate since everyone here seems to be pumping up heavily locked down iDevices and Chromebooks.

    Or maybe they are finally realizing that not everybody needs/wants a fully open, infinitely configurable, high maintenance product all the time. Sometimes they just want it to do a limited subset and do it well with minimal requirement from the user. That isn't to say you couldn't dual boot and have full desktop Linux on there as well.

    The whole free and open thing seems to be stagnating a bit, I mean Android is free and open but where is all the FOSS innovation? Sure there are some helpful utilities for devs and admins but that's about it. There's no reason a FOSS package or distro couldn't have been developed that provided all the innovative features that exist in Google Play Services but it didn't. It's nice for everything to be FOSS but from the consumer perspective it doesn't seem to have much advantage over proprietary.

  • Re:What do I think? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @07:48PM (#47526779) Journal

    "At-Risk Schools" is bullshit misnomer. These schools get ALL sorts of extra money other schools don't. Let me tell you, money is not the issue, the issue with "At-RisK" is the parents of the kids who are "At-Risk". These people are lower educated because many (most?) do not value education. They are lower Economic, because they are lower educated. And because they are lower economic, they don't see a way (even if you tell them) out of their situation. I am not going to say they are lazy, because many of them do very hard labor work.

    The issue is, they would rather spend what little (if any) extra money they have on things that do no provide opportunity for their families. The families who figure it out, are out of poverty in one generation, maybe two. IF you want to fix "At-Risk" schools, you'll have to start with the Parents.

  • Re:Papers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <> on Thursday July 24, 2014 @08:03PM (#47526887) Journal

    I think the $99 netbooks that are gonna be coming out this fall should just suck up these low end sales like a sponge. After all the new Atom and Jaguar chips are crazy powerful and at 8 inches it'll be just perfect for kids sticking into backpacks. i already have a dozen customers that have put off getting their kids a tablet to get one of these new netbooks and I have a feeling that without having the lowest cost these ChromeOS sales are gonna dry up, same goes for the low end tablets.

    After all why would you buy a Chromebook that ONLY works on the net when you could have a netbook that runs all the apps a Chromebook can run AND run offline as well? Oh and the Linux guys should love 'em as both Intel and AMD have been pretty good about opening up the APUs so it should be a dirt cheap way to have a pocket Linux lappy.

  • Re: iPads are toys (Score:4, Interesting)

    by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @08:56PM (#47527285)

    Managers where I work usually get iPads.

    All they can do in addition to Facebook and other web browsing is browse the intranet (which nobody really does anyway) and check email. They already get emails on their Blackberry's and use them more often.

    Pretty much a corporate toy.

  • Re:What do I think? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @10:42PM (#47528057)

    A few months back, I sprained and fractured the thumb on my writing hand. It was almost a week before by thumb was strong enough to even allow me to grip an empty soda can without dropping it, so you can imagine it took awhile before I could write again (nearly two months before I could write more than a few lines, in fact). I also work at a software development shop where a key part of our culture is our use of notebooks. To say the least, I was a bit concerned, since writing seemed like an essential skill.

    Because writing by hand was out for me, I turned to taking notes on my iPhone, simply out of necessity. I write by hand at around 30 wpm, I'd guess, which I was able to get on par with almost immediately, without any of the annoying hand cramping that happens after awhile when writing on paper. Plus, the notes are much more legible (even with the occasional auto-correct mishap), have the ability to be searched more easily later, can be synced to other locations, and are "written" using an object I'm keeping with me all of the time anyway. I'm actually seriously considering ditching notebooks altogether at this point, now that my thumb is mostly healed, since I can type just as fast, and if someone throws up a picture on a whiteboard, I can snap a photo more easily than I can copy it to paper anyway.

    Which is to say, I'm not convinced that writing by hand remains an essential skill, or else that it will be one for much longer. Useful in numerous situations? Absolutely. Something I'd teach my kids? Without a doubt. But essential? Other than legal and old-world business forms that haven't moved online yet, I can't remember the last time that I had to write by hand, and those are both a dying breed.

    Personal note: Just to put it out there, I'm not someone with years of experience as a prolific typist on phones. I'm averse to text messaging and get frustrated when trying to type out e-mails since I'm still, of course, much faster on a full keyboard.

  • by high_rolla ( 1068540 ) on Thursday July 24, 2014 @10:56PM (#47528131) Homepage

    That's interesting as we are actually having the opposite to your experience in the school I work at.

    The teachers (mostly) think they are great

    Before students had these devices they had pen and paper. Now they have a device that does word processing, spreadsheets, basic multimedia, communication (email, video chat etc), has access to a wealth of information through the internet for research, access to our online learning environment and more. A lot of activities that are great for education across every subject and that they couldn't do prior with pen and paper. And it does all these activities rather well and because it is low powered it easily lasts a whole day without recharging (with the model we have). This last point is really important as it alleviates the problem of a mess of cables for people to trip over etc but it also allows people to move around a lot easier than when they are tethered which is good for collaboration exercises.

    Of course it doesn't do cad and multimedia and all that other fancy stuff. That is what our labs are for and in our opinion a desktop with a 20 something inch screen and a mouse and that is plugged into power permanently is much better for doing those tasks than even a high end laptop.

    Actually you can do cad and multimedia and a lot of that other stuff on these devices. There are web based options for many of these things. Sure they aren't as powerful but for teaching the theory and concepts you shouldn't need the full blown tools (unless you are a poor teacher who doesn't understand the theory and concepts well enough and can only teach a product which you yourselves were taught on.) For instance we teach students cad with and they easily transfer those skills over to AutoCad in later years.

    From a management point of view they are awesome. Way fewer breakdowns than with traditional laptops and when they do, a lot of the time a Power Wash and the student is back up and running in a matter of minutes. If it's hardware we loan them another device, they log in and are off and running again in a few minutes, and again when they get their repaired device (or a replacement) back.

    I really hate this argument that a device that is easy to manage and offers many things they didn't have before (with just pen and paper) which are of value and which this device does really well, and is actually quite well priced, is useless because it doesn't do some other things which are specialised and for which we already have better devices doing those tasks anyways.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court