Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could not match the units of education tablets sold by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in 3Q, according to findings by market research firm, IDC. According to Apple Insider, 715,000 units of Chromebook were sold in 3Q compared to 702,000 iPads sold in the same period. The latest case marked the first time that Apple trailed Google in the education tablet market. Nonetheless, Apple still leads in the sale of education devices.

The education market is apparently shifting and while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) still boasts a strong grip on the market, the latest data suggests that the company might be in for more challenges. The shipment of more Chromebook devices compared to iPads in 3Q, for education purposes, shows how players in the education sector are turning to cheaper and easy to use devices.

Google and other education tablet providers offer competitive prices on their devices. Additionally, the education sector is also showing preference for tablets that come with traditional keyboards to those that lack such. The tablet devices running Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows are also gaining traction at the expenses of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Some teachers have cited that the keyboard-less form of iPads was not friendly for learning that it hindered learning in some manner. Moreover, experts have also noted that the non-traditional keyboard in iPads makes the devices less suitable for productivity purposes.

Earlier this year, the Los Angeles United School District announced a shift in spending on tablets away from iPads to devices powered by Windows or Chrome OS. LAUSD previously spent millions of dollars in iPad devices for curriculum.

The latest setback in the education tablet market notwithstanding, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) still has a significant hold in the education market. The devices that run OS X far outnumber the rivals. Nonetheless, Apple may still have to look into the cost issue of its devices. Rivals are able to offer their tablets at costs starting at $199, which is cheaper than even the latest iPad Air device that comes with education discount.

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