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Sales of Personal PCs into Global K-12 Education Market Hits Short Term Slow Down in 2016, as Poor Economic Conditions Hit Large Education Tenders

PCs in Education Market Analysis and Commentary

12 Sep 2016 - Futuresource Consulting projections of a difficult year for the sales of personal computers into the K-12 education sector* are looking correct with the status of several large scale national tenders uncertain due to unstable economic and political conditions. The Futuresource K-12 report tracks global device sales and shows that the first half of 2016 fell by 12% in comparison to the first half of 2015, 12.4 million units compared to 14 million.

The majority of this decline can be explained by the Latin American region, which traditionally has numerous large scale national deployments that take place annually, having their funding heavily impacted due to global pressures on oil prices. In addition, the political turmoil in Turkey has put a halt to the ongoing FATIH project (current project status is unclear). The outlook for 2017 is looking much stronger with global volumes expected to rebound to over 30 million units (19% growth on 2016). 

The US market continues to develop well. However, with market growth continuing in H1 2016 (volumes reaching 6.4 million vs 5.7 million in 2015), growth rates have slowed following explosive growth in 2014 & 2015 (with the switch to online assessment). A strong replacement market is developing, as districts strengthen and expand their 1:1 learning programs. Price points continue to drop, driving volumes, with some Chromebooks reaching the $150 price point and new range of entry level Windows devices reaching sub $300 price points. 

2-in-1 Devices Set for Strong Growth in Education 2-in-1 devices (devices that can be used as a traditional notebook, but also as a tablet with either detachable keyboard or convertible one) are expected to be a key battle ground for providers in 2017. There has long been a school of thought that 2-in-1 devices are perfect for education as they provide both the productivity requirements often needed by older students, together with the tactile touch benefits of a tablet.

Prices of these devices have been dropping considerably and a wide range of devices are expected to launch in the next 6 months on both Windows and Chrome OS platforms, likely priced around the $300 mark. 2-in-1s are expected to grow to 18% of the US market in 2017 from 6% in 2015.

Report Coverage and Definitions *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 Desktops.

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 an installed based data point. (For example this statement is incorrect - Chromebooks account for 50% of devices in US classroom.)


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