Chromebooks accounted for more than half of the personal computer/tablet sales to K-12 schools in the United States in the third quarter of 2015, a technology consulting firm says.
Futuresource Consulting, in its most recent #EdTech K-12 Market Report, says 1.63 million Chromebook units were sold in the market in the third quarter. That represents a market share of 51 percent.
"Chrome is the clear U.S. market leader now with over 50 percent of the K-12 OS market share, meaning Apple and Microsoft both have significant ground to make up." says Mike Fisher, Futuresource's associate director of education technology.
The consultant says that a key reason for the rapid rise of Chromebooks is the relative ease, compared with other operating systems, for school system IT administrators to manage and deploy the devices on a large scale.
Another persuasive factor is price: at $200 to $230 per device, Chromebooks have "effectively cornered" the entry level of the K-12 market for non-tablet sales, Futuresource says.
Futuresource predicts a developing trend in 2016 will be the growth in K-12 sales of 2-in-1 products (devices that can operate either as a tablet or notebook via detachable keyboards or 360-degree convertible devices).
Two-in-one products "have long been viewed as ideal for the education sector, but the high price points (devices typically over $500) have led to relatively limited adoption," the consultant report says.
Futuresource expects prices for 2-in-1s to drop to a range between $300 and $350 in the coming year, which would lead to a boost in its market share to 11 percent in 2016, compared with 5 percent in 2015.