School system CIOs in the U.S. are embracing Chromebooks, delivering a tremendous lift to the platform. That's also its downside.
Of the 1.5 million Chromebooks shipped in the U.S. in the third quarter of this year, 1.13 million -- or about 75% of all shipments -- went to schools and higher education institutions, according to IDC.
In the year-ago quarter, Chromebook shipments in the U.S. were put at 628,000 by IDC.
"We do see continuous increases in volume shipments of Chromebooks, and that is something that is very healthy," said Rajani Singh, an IDC analyst. "But what will happen if for some reason schools start moving away from Chromes?. You can't be so dependent in just one business vertical to do well."
Google has shown the education market a lot of attention, particularly through its free productivity and administrative tools. But Singh suggested that Google has to explore other business verticals, something she said the company is doing.
In the third quarter, Chomebooks also surpassed Apple's iPad in first-time shipments to K-12 schools, 715,500 Chromebooks to 702,000 iPads. That was first reported by the Financial Times.
But the sale of iPads to schools represents only 20% of the 3.8 million U.S. iPad shipments in the third quarter.