iPad trumps PC in sales to schools for first time: Report

by David Needle

September 4 2012

Schools are buying more iPads than PCs this year, according to one report.
Schools are buying more iPads than PCs this year, according to one report.

PC sales to schools in the U.S. are seeing its long-established lead in the education market overtaken by Apple’s iPad, according to a new report.

While PC education shipments fell by 265,000 units, or 13.9 percent, from the June quarter a year ago, Apple sold almost a million iPads to K-12 in June, according to a note to investors sent by Needham & Company analyst Charles Wolf.

The news is "definitive evidence" that the iPad has been "cannibalizing" PC sales in the U.S. education market, Wolf said in a recap reported by AppleInsider.

"Clearly, a significant portion of iPad sales represented an expansion of the market," Wolf wrote. "But in view of the fact that Mac sales held steady at around 520,000 units but overall PC sales declined by 265,000 units from 1.90 million to 1.64 million units, we believe the inescapable conclusion is that the iPad is beginning to cannibalize a material portion of PC sales in this market."

Apple's iPad school sales were boosted by such customers as the San Diego Unified School District that's spending $15 million to roll out 26,000 iPads for young students as part of a voter-approved initiative. 

Wolf also said he believes the iPad will start to chip away at PC sales in other big markets in the new future.

Apple’s iPad sales in the June quarter where twice what they were last year. Apple also sold almost double the number of iPads to education buyers than Macs during the quarter.

Apple is expected to unveil a smaller iPad, the iPad Mini, next month that could also prove to be a hit in education market given its smaller size and expected price reduction compared to the current models. 

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