Chromebook sales now account for more than half of all devices sold for U.S. classrooms, up from less than 1 percent in 2012, according to a new report from Futuresource Consulting. (The sales figures do not include desktop computers.) To analysts, this comes as a big surprise.
"While it was clear that Chromebooks had made progress in education, this news is, frankly, shocking," said Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder. "Chromebooks made incredibly quick inroads in just a couple of years, leaping over Microsoft and Apple with seeming ease.
Combine Chromebooks with devices running on Android, and Google's share of the edtech market is even more impressive. As of the third quarter of this year it had 53 percent of the market for K-12 devices bought by schools and school districts.
Google's rapid gains come at the expense of its biggest rivals. Over the past three years, Apple's market share been slashed by more than half, from 52 to 24 percent and Microsoft's market share has slipped from 43 to 24 percent. Even Google seems a little surprised.