Apple Could Fail to Recapture K-12 Market for the Same Reason It Owns the SmartPhone Market

Kids love the Apple iPhone. And most kids in schools who have smartphones have an iPhone — this, all while Android is the world’s leading smartphone platform. And, they mostly don’t use them as a phone. They text on them, Snapchat on them, they post on Instagram and they store their photos on them — lots of photos.

And, when they go to school, they use Google Docs — the dominant platform for K-12 collaboration. Because it’s free.

In the ultimate slap-in-the-face to Apple, they load Google’s apps all over their phones so they can collaborate between each other on projects, do homework and build presentations.

Because of this, thousands of school districts over the past few years have purchased millions of Chromebooks for their students to use. In fact, Futuresource says that Google has a market-leading position over Apple and Microsoft in the range of 3:1.

In an attempt to finally fight back, Apple yesterday held an education-focused launch event at a school in Chicago to launch a new lower-priced iPad in the form of a 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support. And at $299 for schools, it’s closer in price to the Chromebook, but even though most students prefer iPad over Chromebook, it likely won’t, alone, work to get Apple back to a market-leading position — like they were with over 55 percent of the market in 2015.


It’s the software, stupid.

Apple’s not just fighting the Chromebook; they’re fighting Google Docs — nearly every K-12 students uses it. Don’t believe me, just ask your own kids.

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To combat this, yesterday Apple launched two new apps:

1. Schoolwork — a new app that helps teachers create assignments, see student progress and communicate securely with students.

2. Everyone Can Create is a new, free curriculum that Apple says makes it fun and easy for teachers to integrate drawing, music, filmmaking or photography into their existing lesson plans for any subject.

Will this work?

It’s hard to bet against Apple as they have a 40+ year history of success in education — remember, that’s where they started. And, during that time, they’ve been the market leader in education for 30 or more of those years. They’ve set-up an Education-only portal with all-new school’s only pricing, dedicated apps for K-12 and plenty of free resources for teachers to encourage them to adopt. But, as we all know, adoption (and change) in education is slow — now, it’s S-L-O-W, especially in public school districts.

So, only time will tell. A lot of time.

Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (, a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (, rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at