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New study shows schools are starting to spend big on iPads and other tablets

by Doug Drinkwater

April 30 2013

A new report reveals that tablet adoption in education is widespread across the world
A new report reveals that tablet adoption in education is widespread across the world

Schools, colleges and universities are increasingly spending more money on tablets and other mobile PCs, according to a new study.

Futuresource Consulting, a self-proclaimed leader in providing research on education technology, today released the latest findings from its annual report into the global education landscape, a report which revealed that overall spending is on the rise.

"Total universe spend in the global education technology market in 2012 increased 23% to $11.6 Billion, from 2011," said Colin Messenger, a senior analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

"This is a strong result compared to other markets and considering the pressure on education budgets across the world."

The research firm doesn’t see this rise stopping anytime soon and estimates that the worldwide value of the global education technology market will eventually spiral to $21 billion by 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 12% from 2012.

So, where is this significant increase coming from? Well, mobile is the straightforward answer. Futuresource says that the mobile PC market now accounts for $6.8 billion (or 59%) of education’s total spend on new hardware, which is a small but significant increase from 51% last year.

That jump may be down in part to the proliferation of iPads and other tablets in the education space, with the researcher noting that a number of schools and colleges have moved to introduce “one to one learning programs” with iPads and iPad minis over the last 12 months, especially in the U.S. districts where iPad sales have taken a major budget share.

That’s not to say that other regions are also not also key to this growth, however. The report reveals that there are “significant” tablet projects underway in Thailand, Turkey, Brazil, Korea and India, with one researcher adamant that these emerging markets will likely to help tablet sales to double in K-12 schools this year.

“Tablet sales into K-12 exceeded 3.5 million units in 2012, a growth of 340% on 2011. Sales are expected to double again in 2013, to reach close to 7 million,” David Millar, Futuresource senior market analyst for classroom technologies, told TabTimes.

“Major nationwide tablet projects in South Korea, Thailand , Turkey and Brazil will contribute to this growth, as well as continuing strong demand from schools and school districts in the US and UK.”

Just last month, the same company revealed that sales of mobile devices into K-12 schools increased by almost a third in 2012 (29%). Millar said at the time that the tablet was the “main catalyst for the market expansion”.

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