Apple is losing its dominance in schools, Charles Haddad writes in his latest Byte of the Apple column for BusinessWeek Online .
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This has been obvious recently, with statistics that show that Apple’s educational market share has slipped drastically.
Most analysts attribute Dell’s victory to aggressive pricing, but Haddad thinks that Apple is “getting trampled by a herd mentality, and Dell is simply the beneficiary.” Parents and administrators are going PC because that’s what everyone else has, Haddad says. In other words, it’s PC (politically correct) to be PC.
“That’s a powerful argument in an educational environment,” the columnist writes. “While teachers may favor Macs, it’s teachers who are often the weak link in schools, frequently caught between parents and administrators. Teachers know better than anyone that schools are conventional places where there’s little reward for thinking differently. Sad to say, that’s true in even some of the best schools, such as the one my son attends. In most schools, teachers don’t have much say in budgetary or technology decisions. Administrators who spend little time in classrooms decide district wide which computers the teachers will use.”
It looks as if Apple is on the way to being a niche player in schools, Hadadd concludes. He thinks one of the main things Apple can do to maintain a secure foothold in education to make sure that Macs work seamlessly with PCs.
“In this realm it has made huge strides,” Haddad says. “You can now flourish as a Mac renegade in a PC school, thanks to the new networking features in OS X. No one need ever know you’re working from a Mac.”