[Marxism] Steve Jobs: Government Entrepreneur, Response #1
duaneroberts92804 at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 10 22:20:40 MDT 2011
Rod Holt wrote:
> Some school teachers did write many interesting
> programs for the Apple II. And I still run across
> people who as students vividly remember working on
> the Apple II. I have no data on how many systems
> were shipped to school districts and I would certainly
> appreciate comrade Duane sending me some numbers.
> My recollection is that the numbers were less than
> 5 percent of sales, but I’m willing to be educated.
I doubt your 5% estimate is accurate especially since the
New York Times, Education Week, Infoworld, and other
establishment press have reported for many years that
Apple dominated the market for computers sold to
taxpayer-subsidized K-12 public schools.
I fully understand newspaper articles aren't always
accurate, but I find it difficult to believe the 1995 New
York Times article I've posted at the end of this message
was disseminating inaccurate numbers about Apple's share
of the "education market" at the time.
Although I realize the Times article addresses sales
that occurred after you left Apple, it seems to me the
strategy to create demand for the firm's products by
aggressively marketing them to public schools occured
sometime before Jobs was fired from his post in 1985.
But it does present an interesting statistic relevant
to you: it publishes an estimate that Apple II computers
represented about 37.5% of all computers installed in public
schools in 1995. If true, that's not small potatoes especially
since the line had been discontinued years earlier.
Duane J. Roberts
duaneroberts92804 at yahoo.com
The New York Times
Apple Holds School Market, Despite Decline
By LAURIE FLYNN
Published: September 11, 1995
At a time when Apple Computer Inc. is facing sharp attacks on
many fronts, the maverick company is maintaining a secure
foothold in one crucial arena: the $4 billion market for
computer equipment and software in public schools.
In an annual survey of public schools being released this
month to coincide with the start of the school year,
Apple's share of computer sales to elementary and high schools
was expected to climb from 46 percent of all educational computers
bought last year to 58 percent of the total being bought in
the 1995-96 school year.
This is happening despite widespread concern that Apple's
overall sales will suffer a devastating blow from the arrival
of Microsoft's Windows 95 software for I.B.M. and
I.B.M.-compatible computers, a surge in development of
competitive multimedia computers and the continuing problem of
shrinking profit margins. Maintaining a strong position in
profitable niche markets like education and desktop publishing
could go a long way to quiet Apple's naysayers.
The schools market is sizable: in the 1994-95 school year, the
nation's public schools bought nearly a million personal
computers, spending roughly $2.5 billion on machines,
printers, communications devices and other hardware. Besides
the dollar amount, Apple hopes to win the loyalty of children
who might grow into future customers, much as the company is
doing in the college world.
According to the survey, conducted by Quality Education Data,
or Q.E.D., an education market research firm based in Denver,
the share of Macintosh sales to elementary and secondary
schools jumped sharply in the last school year, while such
sales of I.B.M. and I.B.M.-compatible PC's fell. This was in
sharp contrast to the market for business and consumer
computers, in which the Macintosh has rapidly lost ground.
"Apple's longtime courting of the school market has paid off
in strong brand loyalty," said Jeanne Hayes, president of
Q.E.D., which says it surveyed 80 percent of the nation's
public elementary and secondary schools for the report.
"Special pricing, strong service and support and habit have
made the K-12 market an unusually loyal Apple niche."
The public school district in Hampton, Va., for example, has
4,000 Macintoshes, all linked on one gigantic network. "We've
had Apples for seven or eight years now and see no reason to
change," said Dr. Charles Stallard, director of information
services and technology for the Hampton schools.
Yet even Ms. Hayes of Q.E.D. concedes that the Macintosh's
fantastic growth in sales to schools last year will not
necessarily last, but she predicts that Apple will remain the
top seller in that market.
The Macintosh's success in selling to schools is driven by the
introduction of lower-priced Macs using the Power PC chip, and
by the ability of new versions to run software written for
either the Macintosh or the PC. But in Apple's view, its
success in the schools' market has as much to do with an
understanding of teaching as with technology.
"What the education market is buying is not an operating
system but a learning tool," James Groff, vice president of
worldwide marketing for Apple Education, said. Mr. Groff said
educators appreciate Apple's long-term commitment to the
market and to the development of innovative "bundling," in
which a Macintosh is sold together with educational software
and teaching guides.
Apple has always been the dominant seller of computers to
schools, and its Apple II line, discontinued in 1990, still
accounts for 37.5 percent of all computers installed in
schools, the survey showed. The Macintosh, according to
Q.E.D., accounts for 20 percent.
Elementary schools in particular continue to use Apple II's,
even acquiring used ones, because of the sizable investment in
software that runs on them, Ms. Hayes said. While schools are
gradually abandoning the Apple II, the transition has been
slow. Businesses tend to replace computer equipment every year
and a half to three years, but schools hold onto equipment for
three to five years and sometimes much longer.
Because "schools tend to use computers for a long, long time,"
Mr. Groff said, the Apple II "is not dwindling very fast."
For the last years, Apple's share of the total number of
computers used in schools had been in decline, from a high of
65.6 percent in 1990-92 to roughly 57.4 percent last year,
according to Q.E.D.'s data. And many competitors and industry
analysts argue that Q.E.D.'s conclusion that Apple's share of
school sales are now rising is wrong.
Alicia Goodwin, director of education markets for the Compaq
Computer Corporation, said the Macintosh's market share in
schools has continued to decline, and that the arrival of
Windows 95 will lead to an even greater shift. Compaq began
selling to schools in February 1994, and said it now has
roughly 4 percent of the market. The company expects to gain a
few percentage points this year.
Many high schools in particular are buying Compaqs and other
PC's running Windows 95, rather than Macintoshes, to prepare
students better for jobs in business, where PC's running
Windows outsell Macintoshes 10 to 1, Ms. Goodwin said.
"Parents are more in tune with schools that have PC's running
Windows, since that's what they use in the workplace," she
Anne Wujcik, a market researcher and consultant in educational
technology in Alexandria, Va., conceded that Windows 95 is
likely to hurt the Macintosh in education for many of the same
reasons. "I don't see it shifting so dramatically right now,
but it will as parents and schools realize they can't be so
different from the business world," she said.
Still, she expects schools to adopt the new operating system
more slowly than other market segments. "They'd have to
upgrade all their applications," she said. "The schools
absolutely hate that."
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