Ever since Google introduced affordable Chromebooks early in 2013, Apple’s sales have continued to decline. Chromebooks are different from other laptops; instead of running on Windows 10, Windows 8, or Mac OS X, they run on Google’s Chrome OS. The operating system is designed by Google to be based on the Linux Kernel with Google Chrome web browser as a principle user interface to support web applications.

Chromebook disrupts

A recent report released by Futuresource Consulting shows Apple’s worrying statistics. Out of the 12.6 million mobile devices that were shipped to primary and secondary schools in the United States in 2016, iPads and Mac laptops only make up 14%, declining from about 26% over the same period in 2014.

About 58% of the market now is using Chromebooks and Microsoft Windows, which remained stable at about 22%. Chromebooks' dominance has become “a major headache” for Apple and Microsoft, the report says.

Apple is no longer king

Apple began its penetration into the education market after winning a contract from the Minnesota Education Computing Consortium (MECC) in 1978. The story goes that this MECC contract contributed to the popularity of floppy disks and Apple II across the US. The company since then has continued to deliver educational features for its popular products. With Chromebook disrupting the market, causing a shift toward Google-powered devices, Apple’s sales are hurting, and it is now struggling.

All three in classrooms

After Google introduced its Google Classrooms API in 2015, Apple launched the Classroom app in 2016, following the release of iOD 9.3. It aims to empower teachers with a set of tools for classroom management using iPads. Microsoft has a similar kind of blended learning platform called Microsoft Classroom, which was introduced to be used with Office 365 Education.

Apple will need to come up with more affordable innovations to keep up with Google Chromebooks’s prices.

Mike Fisher, Associate Director of Education at Futuresource, said that this year we will see “wide ranges of computing devices, designed specifically for education at competitive price points, entering the market.”