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March 9th, 2000

[10:00 AM] Apple #1 In Education With 30.6% Market Share
by Staff

Apple has announced that International Data Corp has placed Apple in the #1 spot in education sales for the 4th calendar quarter of 1999 (Apple's 1st fiscal quarter of 2000). IDC says that Apple took 30.6% market share for the quarter. For the year, Apple claimed some 23.6% market share, showing the strength of Apple's most recent product offerings. According to Apple:

Leading market research firm International Data Corp. today reconfirmed Apple's number one position in sales to the U.S. education market. IDC's Q4CY '99 Education Market Report shows Apple® leading in overall U.S. education sales with a 30.6 percent market share, double its closest competitor.

"Apple's roots are in providing great personal computers to educators and students," said Mitch Mandich, senior vice president of Worldwide Sales. "Nothing pleases us more than to see educators continuing to choose Apple's products, like the best selling iMac and iBook, above all other education computer systems."

In addition to IDC's Q4CY '99 Education Market Report, IDC also released education market share numbers for the entire year of 1999 -- also placing Apple on top with 23.6 percent market share -- maintaining a strong lead over the next competitor. The difference between IDC's fourth quarter and annual numbers show Apple's widening education lead and is simultaneous to Apple's introduction of breakthrough products such as iBook(TM), AirPort(TM), iMac(TM) DV and iMovie(TM).

The Mac Observer Spin: Apple has seemingly held the #1 position in education since Jimmy Carter was president [Editor's Note: We don't have data going back that far, but Apple has maintained a dominance in education sales since the Apple ][.]

During October of 1999, Dell ran a press release saying they had passed Apple in education sales to take the #1 spot. Apple quickly shot back with a "No you didn't" press release that said Dell's data sources were incomplete and that Dell was actually #4 when direct sales were counted. At that time, The Mac Observer received some vitriolic letters from some Observers who said that Apple had lost the education market. Their point was that 22% of the market, while better than any one PC maker, meant that 78% of the market had gone to Windows. This is a good point.

That said, Apple clearly gained some significant ground on the education turf in the 4th quarter. While almost 70% of the market still went to Windows, Apple has a large and healthy chunk. The interesting thing will be to see how Apple does in the current quarter. According to Apple's briefings with Wall Street types, they are having an excellent quarter. Whether or not education sales are specifically a part of that excellent quarter was not mentioned. If Apple can continue to build on their lead, they could eventually find themselves with a majority of education sales again.

It's sad that there are schools which choose an inferior solution for educating our kids for the sake of teaching them to blend in with the herd. This comes back to the same lemming analogy so often applied the Mac/PC choice. It is a sad commentary on humanity in general that so many choose to do what everyone else is doing, rather than doing and choosing what is best.


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