Boot Camp: Apple's education edge?

Boot Camp: Apple's education edge?

Summary: Christopher Dawson has an interesting post on why his school district users are voting for PCs over Macs, a contention that bucks conventional wisdom. One of Dawson's primary conclusions is that Apple's OS X just looks different and that makes users wary.

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TOPICS: Apple
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Christopher Dawson has an interesting post on why his school district users are voting for PCs over Macs, a contention that bucks conventional wisdom.

One of Dawson's primary conclusions is that Apple's OS X just looks different and that makes users wary. Some of these folks were used to OS 9 and others prefer PCs.

According to Apple's fiscal 2005 annual report, the education market accounted for 12 percent of sales. And it's turf that Apple wants to defend. Here's what Apple said in its SEC filing:

The Company also faces increased competition in the U.S. education market. U.S. elementary and secondary schools, as well as college and university customers, remain a core market for the Company. Uncertainty in this channel remains as several competitors of the Company have either targeted or announced their intention to target the education market for personal computers, which could negatively affect the Company’s market share. In an effort to regain market share and remain competitive, the Company has been and will continue to pursue one-to-one (1:1) learning solutions in education. 1:1 learning solutions typically consist of iBook portable systems for every student and teacher along with a wireless network connected to a central server. These 1:1 learning solutions and other strategic sales are generally priced more aggressively and could result in significantly less profitability or even in financial losses, particularly for larger deals. Although the Company believes it has taken certain steps to strengthen its position in the education market, there can be no assurance that the Company will be able to increase or maintain its share of the education market or execute profitably on large strategic arrangements. Failure to do so may have an adverse impact on the Company’s operating results and financial condition.
What could defend Apple's education turf? Boot Camp, which allows you to boot Windows XP on an Intel-based Mac. With one box and two operating systems folks like Dawson could pick and choose and OS for their clients. Educators would still have to ponder whether it made sense from a budget perspective to get a Windows license, but it is an option. Of course, it wouldn't ease the pain for those educators that still love OS 9.

Topic: Apple

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4 comments
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  • Message has been deleted.

    SrikantTest1
  • Boot Camp won't help ...

    ... at least not in Higher Education.

    That 12% figure needs to be broken down into K-12 vs Higher Education to tell the whole story. I'd bet the bulk of those sales are at the college level, where Boot Camp is immaterial. Colleges and universities invest in Apple for its multimedia capabilities. In this discipline-specific setting, no one cares if a Macintosh can also run Windows.

    For all general purpose computing, those same colleges and universities invest in Windows platforms because of their dramatically lower price and the lack of need for the raw performance offered by the Mac.

    Add to this the fact that most non-multimedia applications are written exclusively for Windows and Apple's problem becomes clear. The Macintosh costs too much! When coupled with an Apple-branded monitor and keyboard, even the entry-level Mac mini costs more than the iMac while an entry-level Dell comes in at less than half the price of that same iMac.

    Apple will always compete in Higher Education because of its unique multimedia capabilities and its competitive pricing for equally powerful platforms but until Apple offers an entry-level system suitable for personal productivity applications, it is going to be priced out of the K-12 market and its once dominant market share in the educational sector will continue to slip.
    M Wagner
  • Apple's education edge

    As usual, a windows user (mwagner) misses the target and
    doesn't have his facts straight. The vast majority of Mac Mini
    purchasers do not buy a monitor/keyboard/mouse because they
    already own them, including schools. That was precisely Apple's
    target audience. In that scenario, the Mac Mini starts at $579.
    If they do not have the monitor/kbd/mouse, the iMac does, and
    starts at $899.
    Compare apples to apples, INCLUDING the software that is
    bundled and the iMac will cost considerably less than a dell, not
    "dramatically" more and the dell "less than half", as he claims.
    I wish he would tell us where we can buy a dell for less than
    $450 w/monitor, video conferencing camera, core 2 duo
    processor, apps equivalent to iLife and mail/calendar/browser/
    chat apps, kbd/mouse, remote for multimedia presentations,
    512MB RAM, 160GB hard drive and CD-RW/DVD-R optical drive.
    All that and more, you get with the "entry-level" iMac.
    Also, I see no mention in his post of CrossOver Mac or Darwine
    or any number of other solutions which allow the Mac to run
    windows programs WITHOUT installing ANY version of the
    windows OS, hence no licensing fees. There is no reverse
    software on the market.
    It's obvious that his knowledge of this area is not exactly
    cutting-edge. That's my 2?, FWIW.
    mjanski
  • When it comes to education, the fact the book "Macintosh for Dummies" must

    prove that Apple can't even fulfill its own promise of "the computer for the rest of us" and every other petty tactic to cajole the brainless into buying their toy.
    HypnoToad72