Study Shows Students Are Ditching Their PCs For iPads This Year

Study Shows Students Are Ditching Their PCs For iPads This Year

Replacing your PC with an iPad for school makes sense for a lot of reasons, and it will save you money on textbooks over the longrun.

Even though PC manufacturers like Dell refuse to believe the Post-PC Revolution is already here, and that people want tablets more than desktops, evidence is already showing that students and schools are buying iPads instead of PCs.

Needham & Company released a note to investors today stating that PC education shipments fell 13.9%, or 265,000 units compared to the June quarter in 2011. Contrasting that data with Apple’s announcement that they’ve sold nearly a million iPads in the K-12 market in June, it seems pretty clear that iPad is cannibalizing PC sales in the U.S. education market.

“Clearly, a significant portion of iPad sales represented an expansion of the market. But in view of the fact that Mac sales held steady at around 520,000 units but overall PC sales declined by 265,000 units from 1.90 million to 1.64 million units, we believe the inescapable conclusion is that the iPad is beginning to cannibalize a material portion of PC sales in this market.”

Writing for Needham & Company, Charlie Wolf explained that they view the education market as “the canary in the coal mine,” that will predict when the iPad will have an impact on the U.S. market at large.

  • Bob Smogango

    Are they tossing their computers in the garbage? I don’t think they are. I think they are in their little transition mode where they will carry around an iPad for school and go back home and use their PC (until they switch to a Mac) to do their homework and play games.

  • hanhothi

    I teach at university and my advice is DO NOT think you can effectively replace a PC with an iPad.

    They are geat as a supplement if you can afford it, but don’t handicap yourselves by trying to go it alone with just an iPad. Buster has argued you can save a bundle on eText books. OK if you can get the books you NEED for the course in that format. Chances are, the books you will be required to read will NOT be available in such as format.

    Unless you have loads of cash (unlikely if you are a student) , think twice about blowing loads on a Mac, nice as they are. Do yourselves a favour, buy a Windows notebook (yes, I know you don’t want to hear that) because that will be able to cover all your needs. Save the money you would blow on a Mac for essentials. You can replace your cheap PC with an expensive flashy Mac (that you will run Windows on because you need the software) when you have qualified and have money to waste.

    I am sure this post will get flamed, but be practical, it is the best choice unless you have loads of cash.

  • The_Truth_Hurts

    @Kr00

    hanhothi is correct.

    “BTW, a PC, once you take into account, antivirus, equivalent software and the windows license, bringing the hardware to the same level, along with the longevity compared to a Mac, your beloved PC is not cheap.”
    antivirus? You are an idiot if you pay for it. Microsoft gives it away for free. equivalent software? I assume you are talking about office/iWork. iWork costs you $30 ish. Office? $100 on a student discount and that includes word/excel/outlook/publisher/powerpoint/OneNote/Access. Yes $60 more, but essentially A MUST. iWork? Yes you can squeak by with that, but if you want “hassle free”, you’ll buy Office and thats $100 regardless what platform. If not that, there are plenty of free productivity suites, etc.. around. windows license….? Uh….. You are already paying for that. Plus if you are a student you can get the windows licenses for extremely cheap. hardware to the same level? Depending what, you are looking at $300 to $1000 less (if not more) for the exact same hardware. Unless you buy a POS device, your PC will last as long as a Mac, if not better. In reality? You can save anywhere from $300 to $1000, if not more for (literally) the exact same device, with same software, that last as long and is as reliable. No joke.

    “It costs educational institutions more to keep PCs running than Macs.”
    I’ve been in plenty of education institutions. 99.99% of the time they have the cheapest possible PC’s. The amount you pay for a mac, you can buy 3 or 4, if not more. They are utter junk. Now, if they spent MORE, and got actually quality PC’s, not only will they still be cheaper than Macs, but cost them a lot less to maintain them. That’s the problem. Not that PC’s are vastly more expensive to maintain. Get a high(er) quality PC? cost as much as a Mac to maintain, if not far less.

    “There’s more to life than the bottom line. Everything has its value. A Mac has a value that outstrips a PC every day of the week.”

    If you keep buying POS PC’s and ONLY look at POS PC’s, of course the value is terrible and the Mac has a value that outstrips a PC. But if you get high quality PC’s? The value of that machine cannot be touched by that Mac.

    You buy a high quality PC? A Mac simply cannot compete with it. simply cannot. The problem? A good percentage of people are not willing to spend the $$$ needed to get a high quality PC. Why spend —- when you can get a PC for hundreds, if not thousands less? They don’t understand that the more expensive PC’s tend to run a lot fast, are far more reliable, far more powerful, and last a lot longer. And, when you “bring it up”, a good percentage are like “why should I spend that much for a PC, when I can spend the same amount for a Mac, or spend few hundred more to get a mac?” Even if the mac is “vastly” inferior to that PC. So for example a $1500 15/17 inch PC. “Why spend that much for that when I can pick up a Mac for $1000/$1200?” (even when those really aren’t the same machines).

    Oh yes, those POS PC’s are utter garbage. and I completely agree. But if you actually spend the $$$ to get a quality PC? Completely different experience. Longevity? Reliability? On par, if not far exceeding that of a Mac. Value? Shoots way up. That is what I have to “fight” over with mac user. They don’t understand their is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between a POS PC and a (quality) PC. Quite literally, completely two different type of machines. But 99.99% of PC’s “negatives”? Deal with the POS PC’s only. Not the (high) quality PC’s. The quality PC’s? Reliability, Durability, longevity, value, satisfaction? (Literally, all the advantages that Macs “have” over PCs?) Quality PC’s match of the Macs, if not far exceeding it.

    There is a difference between a POS PC and Quality PC. And all of these “PC’s are junk!!!” is not because of the quality PC’s. It’s because of the POS PC. And they are PLENTY of quality PC’s out there. You just cannot buy the blue-light specials. You’ll have to spend more. But, you’ll be thanking yourself in the long run.

    It’s really amusing to see people.

    You have the PC users who “love” windows. They have no intrest in OS X.
    You have the PC users who “hate” their PC’s. They see the grass greener on the other side and basically (only) talk to their Mac friends about what computer they should get
    You have the Mac users who “love” their Mac and vow that PC’s that are just horrible.
    You have the Mac users who are switch back to PC’s because they found out that they can get a PC for significantly less to up to the same amount as a Mac, but that is far more reliable, far more durable, last far longer, have far fewer problems, are a far better value, cost far less to maintain, and are far better productivity machines.

    The irony is, how many people I have seen who spent $2500 to $3500 (if not more) over and over on their Mac’s that they had anywhere from 5 to 10 years, some 15 years, if not more and go with that same amount, and plop it down for a PC because of what I stated above. The quality of Macs have “decreased” or the quality of PC’s have increased so greatly, the PC (overall) is a far better investment.

  • Dave Stephens

    The kids know. The kids SEE their friends using iPads to do whatever they need to to do for their classes. They know the ins and outs of what software to use, how to use it, what does and doesn’t work as well for file compatibility, etc. etc. etc… And when hanhothi tells them that they cannot, I’m sure they stifle a laugh and go right ahead and use their iPad to take notes and read assignments and create, save, send and LEARN. It’s easy as pie to those kids – it’s what they were raised on. Talk to any grade-school, high school or college kid and they all seem to have come to a conclusion: PCs are fine and PCs work, but Macs work better and are infinitely cooler. And cooler is preferable…

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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