Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller has spoken out against Chromebooks rising education sector market via an interview, calling the devices "cheap." The executive went on to imply that the devices simply won't help children be successful. Chromebooks, Mr. Schiller says, do not inspire a desire to learn for kids.
Moreover, they aren't cutting-edge learning tools, according to Mr. Schiller. Schools are only using them because they are a cost-effective way to complete "required testing."
The Apple exec goes on to claim that not only are iPads are selling well in the K-12 education market. They are also the "ultimate" learning tool, according to Mr. Schiller. The company also has programs in place, such as the "Everyone Can Code" initiative, aimed at helping children learn computer science.
Specifically, Mr. Schiller says its programs help kids learn about software and how to code, as well as key aspects of augmented reality.
Google hasn't responded but are Chromebooks just cheap?
The Apple executive's statements follow questions about the company's perspective concerning the growing use of Chromebooks in the education segment of the IT market. The interview itself pertained primarily to the launch of Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro and associated accessories.
Google has not yet responded to the statements and may not. However, the growth of Chromebooks can be attributed to several factors, including the Chromebooks for Education program.
That Google-built offering provides a wide assortment of programs for students, instructors or teachers, and IT departments. In effect, it's purpose-built to help schools create an easy-to-use curriculum and ecosystem around that. Testing is only one part of that and some features of testing tools have only recently been added.
The tool also provides tools to learn about a variety of computer science and science subjects, including coding. There are additional tools available via the platform in terms of web apps, Android applications, and Linux apps.
The overarching list of available Chromebooks additionally includes higher-end devices geared toward both teachers and the general public.
In each case, Google provides IT administrators in education departments further tools for easily managing classrooms, curriculum, features, apps, and individual devices in Chrome OS.
Chromebooks help create a highly competitive EDU market
While Chromebooks operate in what is effectively a walled-garden, another benefit of Chromebooks entering the education market is the increase in competition for representation in that space. Arguably, that's among the biggest benefits supplied by the wide array of niches that the devices are covering.
Among the many examples of that is the gradual rise in education-only Chrome OS tablets with renewed competition in that space. That includes devices aimed at the youngest segment of the market. It also allowed less-known companies to compete, such as CTL.
The competition has also been beneficial to companies such as Acer. The company has led the front of Chromebooks' encroachment into the market, in particular with its devices built to military-standard in terms of ruggedization.
That competition only becomes more prevalent in Apple's decision to call out Chromebooks directly.