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Personal Computer Sales to K-12 Education Continue to Rise as OS War Hots Up
Education Technology Market Analysis and Commentary
07 Mar 2016 – London - Adoption of personal computers within the K-12 education sector continued to increase across 2015, with shipments of devices rising more than 12% globally according to the recently published Futuresource Consulting 'Personal Computing in K-12 Education – Q4 2015 Market Track' report. Global shipments reached 29.6 million units in 2015, up from 26.4 million in 2014.
Microsoft Windows Remained the Number One Global Operating System with More than Double the Shipments of Closest Rivals Microsoft Windows remained the leading operating system globally (of devices that shipped with its OS installed), increasing its market share from 47% in 2014, to 55% in 2015, having secured several large scale nationwide projects, while also displacing competing platforms in others. Android has been the biggest loser in this scenario, with Windows devices replacing Android in Mexico which saw more than 960,000 devices deployed in a nationwide project in 2015, while in Thailand, the One Tablet Per Child scheme in 2014 was scrapped and replaced with a teacher notebook program which began in 2015 and is utilising Windows notebooks.
The US K-12 education market remained the largest globally in 2015 and saw more than 10.5 million devices sold throughout the year, growing 17% 'YoY'. Chromebooks continued to gain significant share throughout the year and rose from 38% of device shipments across 2014 to over 50% in 2015. By the final quarter of the year (Oct-Dec), Chromebooks accounted for 56% of device shipments. The momentum behind Chromebooks continued to be driven by the need for Districts to implement online assessment and Chromebooks provided a cost effective way of doing this. As well as providing efficient device management both inside and outside of the classroom. Market growth in the US is expected to slow in 2016, as most Districts purchasing for online assessment will have already done so.
Sales of Chromebooks outside of the US market continued to remain slow, with less than 3% market share in 2015. There have been pockets of growth of Chromebooks within 2015, with markets such as the UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Taiwan, and Australia providing some momentum. In emerging markets, connectivity is fragmented and in most cases is not adequate enough to provide the user experience required on the platform, although improvements are being made to its offline capabilities.
Within the US market however, the Windows platform continued to come under intense pressure from Chromebooks resulting in a loss in market share as Chromebooks marched towards 50% of all device shipments for the year. In response to this Microsoft has made significant changes to its ecosystem, introducing a partnership with Lightspeed Systems to provide improved management capabilities which has been one of the key driving forces behind Chromebooks. While, working with its OEM partners to bring a range of lower cost devices to compete directly in the same price category as Chromebooks such as the HP Stream Pro G2, Acer TravelMate B117 and Lenovo N22.
Apple lost significant ground in regards to its market share globally in 2015, falling from 5% 'YoY' while losing 8% of share within the US market alone. Like Microsoft, it is poised to begin 2016 with some significant improvements to its education ecosystem. Manageability of devices has become a key concern for schools and Apple is making significant improvements to this with its iOS 9.3 update. This update will bring multi-user functionality to iPads allowing for the sharing of devices across several students, a classroom application which will provide in class control of devices, and managed Apple IDs which can be created in bulk and managed by the school district. On top of these improvements, Apple also announced the acquisition of LearnSprout, a San Francisco based education analytics start-up. LearnSprout platform collects real time information from student information systems (SIS) and creates dashboards which can show a variety of statistics on student performance. This acquisition should allow Apple to improve its offering, with student analytics an increasingly important industry trend.
Phil Maddocks, Market Analyst for Education Technology at Futuresource Consulting believes that, "the rise of Chromebooks in the US market has been unprecedented and has been the result of a perfect set of market conditions which has driven the platform to account for more than half of the device sales in 2015. The global market perspective remains totally different however with Microsoft dominating. Microsoft and Apple are both reacting to Google's rise in the US by making significant improvements to their respective ecosystems, while Microsoft is bringing new lower cost devices to the market to compete directly with Google in the sub $300 category."
*Data included as part of report – K-12 market only, institutional sales not including bring your own. Mobile devices only, (Notebook/Mac, Netbook, Tablet, Chromebook) not including Desktop.
Please note, the term 'device shipments' refers to sales of devices at a certain point in time. It is not and should not be used as a installed based data point. (For example this statement is incorrect - Chromebooks account for 50% of devices in US classroom.)
Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. www.futuresource-consulting.com
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