updated 06:16 pm EDT, Wed October 30, 2013
Only one in four US elementary schools using tablets, 94 percent iPad
Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts on Monday that Apple already had 94 percent of the market of tablets used in education, a figure he called "unheard of" and something he'd never seen before in his career -- but a new survey indicates that Apple's success is just the tip of the iceberg in the segment, with plenty of room to grow. A new survey has found that only about 25 percent of the US elementary school market has or is in the process of deploying iPads or other tablets.
Further, Apple already has not just the advantage of first-mover and early dominance, but the strength of its tablet-specific app library gives the company further leverage against rivals. AppleInsider reports that only one of the top ten educational apps (as selected by parents) is available for Android, and that iPads are repeatedly part and parcel of educational tablet initiatives, with very little attention paid to alternative products.
Developer John Friend of Apps in My Pocket, the makers of PocketPhonics, said that Apple's dominance in tablet-specific software and its leadership role in e-textbooks" makes it difficult to justify developing for any other platform ... the Android [tablet] market [in education] is currently too small to support the costs of developing an app."
The survey, which questioned 374 parents and 160 elementary school teachers across the US, showed that iPads are extremely popular with parents to replace and supplement traditional educational materials; 83 percent support their schools deploying iPads or expanding current programs. There was near-unanimous support for the idea that eventually all elementary and preschool students would have access to iPads on a routine basis, despite recent headlines about implementation problems with the Unified LA School District's initiative.