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Education Publisher Says Apple Has Largest Installed User Base In Education

Education Publisher Says Apple Has Largest Installed User Base In Education

by , 4:45 PM EST, November 18th, 2002

Scholastic, the US publishers of the Harry Potter empire, the same company that decided to edit the books for US distribution to be less British, have released a study concerning US education market share in the computer industry. According to the study, Apple is the single largest vendor in the education base in terms of installed user base. Apple holds some 33% of that installed base, beating out Dell's 18% installed user base. The study also points out that the other 66% of the market not covered by Apple is controlled by the Wintel camp as a whole, and that Dell is thrashing Apple in terms of new education sales by some 35% to 21% of purchases. From the study:

  • Computer Brands: Macintosh is the single most common brand of instructional computer in schools today, but Wintel computers (from all makers combined) constitute more than two-thirds of the installed base. Of Wintel computers, Dell Computer is the most common brand with an estimated 18% of the installed base. Dell is also the leading brand in district plans to purchase instructional computers for the 2002-2003 school year, with a 35% share, beating out Apple's Macintosh brand (21%) for the lead.
  • Wireless: Almost one-half of the districts surveyed (43%) report current ownership of wireless devices. In addition, one-third of all districts report they will purchase wireless devices this year. As a sign of this growing trend, 9% of districts plan to buy all wireless computers this school year. Of wireless devices, 72.5% are laptops.

According to the methodology published with the results, the study was conducted by interviewing some 450 participants via the telephone. You can read the full report at Scholastic's Web site. The report has additional information on wireless use in schools. Thanks to Observer Scott Wilson for the heads up on the study.

The Mac Observer Spin:

There aren't any real secrets in this study, at least not to many Mac users who have long known that Apple maintained a much larger installed base than current market share reflects. There are many others out there, however, who were not aware of this, and for those people this is a fairly important thing for them to see.

At first glance, it's very tempting to start crowing about Apple having almost twice the installed base as Dell. Don't be too quick to do so, however, as Dell is catching up fast. More importantly, recent trends have suggested that Dell is accelerating its takeover of Apple's education market share. Anti-Mac partisans will also be quick to jump on the idea that Windows itself has the Mac OS (X and Classic) in a 2:1 lead in installed user base. In some ways, those partisans are right to crow about that. Apple is losing ground in education, and that can't be ignored.

The positive side of this is that Apple still has enough market share to make it attractive, and profitable, for software makers to make Mac education titles. That's an important element for stopping market share erosion.

The bottom line is that this report has some very good news for Apple, as well as lots of warning signs.

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