Tech Trends

Mobile Devices See Upswing in K–12

Mobile Devices See Upswing in K–12 

Shipments of mobile PCs for the education market were up 4 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year, according to a new report from Future Source. In real numbers, sales reached 5.8 million units to start the year, up from 5.5 million in 2017's first quarter.

Most of that growth came from spending in the European and Asian Pacific regions, while significant year-on-year declines in the Middle East and Africa, of 41 percent, and Latin America, of 14 percent, slowed the overall growth trend.

The United States market saw healthy growth as well, increasing 10 percent year-on-year, despite a slow 2017 bleeding into a slow January to start 2018. Competition for the under-$300 market in the U.S. is heating up, with Microsoft and Apple focusing more on lower-cost devices in an effort to compete with Google's Chromebooks.

Excluding the U.S., the rest of the world saw a more modest 0.23 percent year-on-year growth.

"Although the market was flat in the first quarter, key western markets continue to post growth and the outlook for the year remains positive," according to Future Source. This year's volumes "are forecast to grow 10 percent to reach 32 million globally, due to large scale projects expected to take place in all regions."

Windows devices held the top spot by operating system, with 44 percent of the worldwide market. Domestically, however, devices running the Chrome OS were king with a 56 percent share of the market, though sales growth for the devices has been slowing for 12 months, and Chrome devices hold only 29 percent of the global market share.

Apple also had a good showing to start the year, providing 29 percent of the devices sold to K–12 schools in the first quarter, with iPad and MacBook sales up 15 percent year-on-year.

"Recent months have seen the introduction of two new tablet products targeting the education market," according to Future Source. "March saw the announcement of Apple's new iPad, sporting Pencil support with a sub $300 price point for educators. May has seen shipments of the first Chrome powered tablet to the market in the form of Acer's Chromebook Tab 10. These announcements are expected to increase the number of schools considering the use of the form factor, with many using tablets for specialist use cases like robotics and the creative arts, in addition to a notebook/Chromebook for text-heavy applications."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].