Tim Cook recently announced that Apple had its best quarter in education ever, generating over $1 billion in revenue on sales of iOS and Mac products, including iPads, which took a staggering 94% tablet market share in schools. The statistics revealed during Apple’s quarterly conference call for the company’s last fiscal quarter of 2013, showed Apple as strengthening its position in the advancing education market, where Windows-based PCs have long been a dominant presence.
For the quarter ending in September, overall educational sales were up 8% year-over-year with the iPad showing 22% growth over the same period. Mac sales also seemed to have jumped 8% compared to the same time in 2012. Cook pointed out that research firm IDC estimated PC sales were down 10% in aggregate over 2013 with educational PC sales likely worse.
The Cupertino California company has been aggressive with its iPad in education initiative, rolling out iTunes accounts for pre-teens ahead of the school year in August, allowing students to purchase textbooks and other education material from iTunes and the iBookstore. Helping the company’s education program is a trend toward tablets in the classroom. The devices are being used by a number of school districts around the US as a tool for learning, with teachers able to create, distribute and curate curricula via iBooks Author and other iOS device management software.
Last year, the iPad was seen as definitively replacing PC sales for educational institutions and Apple appears to have made significant process since then. When asked about the low-cost offerings from competitors such as Google’s Chromebook, Cook seemed to dismiss the idea that those devices were a threat to Apple’s push in the education sector, Cook said the following regarding the matter:
We see Chromebooks in some places but the vast majority of people are buying PC/Mac or an iPad.
It's sort of unheard of. I've never seen a market share that high before. So we feel like we're doing really well here, and feel great to be making a contribution to education.