IT Trends

Chromebooks Account for Half of K-12 Device Shipments

Shipments of Chrome OS-based devices to American K–12 schools increased more than 31 percent in the last year, according to a report released by FutureSource Consulting.

Despite an overall decline is computing devices across all other sector, spending on ed tech in the United States increased in the last year, and leading that increase were devices running Chrome OS, such as the Chromebook and Chromebox.

According to FutureSource, Chrome accounted for exactly half of all device shipments to K–12 schools in the United States, displacing all other operating systems. In fact, even Google's own Android OS, the most popular OS in the world, which powers Android phones and tablets, was off by one point for the year among American K–12 schools (down to a 2 percent market share).

The biggest losers to Chrome OS for 2015 were:

  • Apple's iOS (which powers the iPhone and iPad), off seven points in 2015 compared with 2014, to a 19 percent market share;
  • Windows, down three points to 22 percent; and
  • Mac OS, down two points to 6 percent.
chart showing market share of operating systems in united states k-12 schools

Chart: FutureSource Consulting

That's in stark contrast to the global ed tech market, where Microsoft Windows dominates with a 43 percent market share (up four points from 2014) and where Chrome and Android run neck and neck at 20 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

According to FutureSource, excluding the United States, Chromebooks accounted for only 3 percent of device shipments globally.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).