Apple sold eight million iPads to education institutions worldwide

iPad ad (Alive, education 001)

The iPad is the perfect epitome of the 21st century learning. When schools and faculties integrate these things into their workflow, anything is possible. The iPad, as you know, debuted as the first mainstream tablet and it immediately bolstered Apple’s already strong and undisputed credibility in education.

Of course, the gizmo owes much of its success to a strong library of more than 300,000 apps designed specifically for it. That said, it shouldn’t really surprise anyone that Apple’s tablet is replacing textbooks fast and becoming an indispensable teaching tool for educators and an interactive learning aid for students.

Thursday, the company officially confirmed it has sold a cool 4.5 million iPads to U.S. education institutions alone and a total of eight million iPads to education institutions worldwide – a notable rise versus about 1.5 million iPads found in U.S. education institutions as of January 2012.

While Samsung shipped as much tablets to the entire market during the holiday quarter of 2012, the South Korean giant did not break down sales by region or industry verticals so we really can’t tell how strong Galaxy tablets are in education, but our guess is they’re virtually non-existent…

Apple in a statement to AllThingsD confirmed it sold more than 4.5 million iPads into U.S. education institutions to date. That’s a notable uptick from around a million iPads found in U.S. schools as of second quarter of 2012. TechCrunch was able to confirm the eight million global shipments with Apple, meaning nearly four million iPad are now in use in education institutions overseas.


Such a large installed base also explains today’s one billion iTunes U downloads milestone, with Stanford University alone seeing more than 60 million downloads so far. More than 250,000 students use iTunes U, which provides free content from 1,200 colleges, universities and K-12 schools.

During a Q3 2012 conference call with analysts, Apple executives noted that iPad 2 sales into the K-12 market doubled year-over-year after that device became a $100 cheaper.

While Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft and other vendors are also pushing their own tablets into the classroom, these companies face an uphill struggle because Apple has traditionally been strong in education and iPads have proven pretty popular with teachers and students.

The iPad mini, which the company sells in 10 packs to education for a discount, is likely to become even more popular in the classroom.

During its education-focused January 2012 New York event, execs said the App Store carried  20,000+ education and learning apps designed specifically for the iPad.