iPad, iPhone Use Is Helping Apple to Win the Education Market

Apple is winning over younger students with both its iPad and iPhone, according to a new report. With schools considering BYOD policies, Apple is at the head of the class.

Apple iPads are the tablets of choice for 70 percent of tablet-owning teenagers, according to an April 4 report from Piper Jaffray. Teen preference, combined with teen iPhone ownership, the results of school surveys and the growing trend of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies€”even within schools€”all result in a forecast that finds the education market is going to do excellent things for Apple€™s bottom line.

The popularity of the iPad among teens, said the report €œwill lead to the iPad owning the educational tablet market.€

Piper Jaffray found 78 percent of school IT managers to be testing iPads, along with Google€™s Chromebooks, while another 6 percent said they were testing Android tablets. Gene Munster and Douglas J. Clinton, the authors of the report, concluded that most of these managers believe the iPad would ultimately be the platform of choice for the market €œbecause the growing app marketplace makes iPad a safer long-term investment.€

Students are also already comfortable with the platform. Piper Jaffray€™s survey found:

  • iPhone ownership among teens is now 34 percent, up from 23 percent in the fall and 17 percent last spring.
  • Teen interest in purchasing an iPhone is now at 40 percent, an all-time high, compared with previous results.
  • By fall 2012, the firm expects teen iPhone ownership could be at 40 to 45 percent.
  • iPad ownership is likely to approach 30 percent by the fall, compared with 24 percent currently.

In addition to surveying 5,600 teens, the analysts surveyed 18 public school IT managers, all of whom said that within five to 10 years they expect their school to have a one-on-one device-to-student ratio.

€œThe majority of IT managers believed that bring-your-own-device policies would be the major driver in achieving a one-to-one ratio,€ according to the report. €œGiven the iPad€™s current majority market share among teens€¦ we expect iPad would be the device most likely desired by students in choosing their own devices.€

Apple is rumored to have a smaller-model iPad in the works; IHS iSuppli wrote in March that component suppliers are reporting an iPad with a 7.85-inch XGA display will arrive in time for winter holiday sales. Such a device, wrote the Piper Jaffray analysts, could further help the education market.

€œWe believe that ultimately a smaller screen, lower-priced iPad could help drive adoption for education,€ wrote Munster and Clinton.

And of course, there€™s also Apple€™s big push to own the textbook market. At a Jan. 19 event in New York City, Apple detailed how it was focused on €œreinventing textbooks€ and how it planned to, with Apple iBooks 2, bring a €œnew textbook experience€ to the iPad.

With each new wave of young workers entering the workforce, the Piper Jaffray forecast should continue to pay dividends for Apple. Teenagers comfortable with Apple€™s iOS are likely to be young adults toting iPhones to work.

Speaking to CIO Insight, Oliver Bussmann, CIO of SAP, described the BYOD trend as €œunstoppable,€ and so something that must be embraced, and enthusiastically.

€œIf you look at the generation that is now coming from college,€ Bussman explained, €œthey already have a Facebook account, social media accounts, etc. They want to bring their own devices. So, how can you be attractive, as a company, and attract those talents, if you don't provide a working environment that they were used to during their college time? I think it's something you have to do.€