How the iPad Put Apple Back in the Classroom [Apple in Education]

Apple in Education

How the iPad Put Apple Back in the Classroom [Apple in Education]

Photo by Digitalnative - http://flic.kr/p/81tpLW

It’s Education Week on CultofMac.com. How’s Apple doing in schools these days? What are the best education apps? Is iTunes U worthwhile? Join us as we learn more about Apple in Education.

Apple had traditionally enjoyed 50 percent of the educational market, however a tight economy coupled with lower PC prices led by netbooks until recently depressed the Cupertino, Calif. company’s classroom reach to just about 20 percent. While the iPad is credited with many advances, it also sparked a comeback for Apple, making the $500 tablet competitive with PCs in the secondary and higher education markets, according to Needham & Company’s Charlie Wolf earlier this year.

Wolf’s prediction, made before the iPad really hit the street, has been confirmed again and again.

In the all-important back-to-school period, Apple was favored by students even during a season when PC makers suffered a 9.7 percent slump, UBS analyst Maynard Um said. About the same time, another study revealed Apple led Dell and HP in buying preference. More than a quarter of students surveyed in August by Student Monitor owned laptops with the Apple logo, compared to 24 percent by Dell and just 15 percent for HP.

If Apple is the favorite in the dorms, how about the bean counters in the IT department? Same story. Tired of wrangling with Microsoft Vista, IT pros as 125 North American universities report a rising tide favoring Apple. The number of Macs on campus rose 18 percent between 2009 and 2010, according to a Group Logic Inc. survey. That upward momentum should climb another 20 percent between now and 2015, the survey found. Like the Student Monitor survey, Group Logic also learned an average of 31 percent of students and 24 percent of university faculty use Macs.

So how is Apple doing at recovering its losses from the netbook period? While only 200 schools were using Macs versus 2500 Windows-based locations in 2003, by 2009 that ocean had become a mere puddle: 1400 schools using Macs versus 1700 using Windows, according to Student Monitor.

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About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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