Earlier this year Dell overtook Apple in the education computer market, according to a study by the International Data Corporation research group. Can our favorite computer bounce back in this market?
Not surprisingly, it depends on whom you ask. IDC analyst Stephen Webber told Computer Reseller News that “the other computer makers don’t see the education market as Apple’s domain anymore.” What Apple had on its side for so long was its understanding of the education market, which unlike the business market is more focused on using technology to produce a particular result, aiding the learning process rather than driving efficiencies, Webber says. But some of Dell’s salespeople in the education arena have come from Apple, “so now they get it, too,” he told Computer Reseller News (CRN).
“Once you let [the Wintel platform] in the door, it’s hard for that trend not to accelerate,” Webber said.
Still, the education market battle isn’t over, industry watchers say. Apple remains focused on the sector and is devoting resources to it, so it’s too early to give Dell the only “A” in the class, they told CRN.
“Apple’s still a major player, but its installed base is mostly aging equipment,” said Greg Jarboe, vice president of marketing at Web CT, a Lynnfield, Mass.-based e-learning services firm. Apple is actively looking for partners to build e-learning applications for its new operating system, he told CRN.
“They’re trying to make a comeback,” he added. “They see their new operating system, OS X, as the horse to ride back into this market. Anyone who sells [Apple CEO] Steve Jobs short is in for a surprise.”
We may get a clue as to what the CEO has up his sleeve in regards to the education market in June. Jobs will be the opening keynote speaker at the 22nd Annual National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in Chicago on Mon., June 25 at the McCormick Place convention center.
NECC is a three-day conference, with pre-conference workshop on June 23-24. The focus is to educate and inform educators on developments in computing and technology for the classroom offering workshops, speakers, 400 exhibitors and 1,300 booths.
“Mr. Jobs has never spoken to NECC and we’re very excited to have him speak to many of our 13,000 attendees,” Barbara Hewick, a representative for NECC, told MacCentral.