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Apple buys LearnSprout to strengthen iPads against Chromebooks in schools

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a hardware provider in U.S. schools. The company provides millions of iPads to schools, but despite this it has still fallen behind Google whose Chromebook has become more of a first choice for schools. Consequently, Apple has now acquired LearnSprout.

LearnSprout is a new education tech startup that designs software for schools. Estimates suggest that more than 2,500 schools in the US now have LearnSprout software. So, this latest acquisition for Apple should help strengthen the company’s classroom appeal.

Now, the big Apple will likely be incorporating LearnSprout software in the iOS 9.

For example, the iOS 9 will include a new classroom app.
A School Manager will also be incorporated into upcoming updates for the platform.

This latest deal probably comes as a response to increasing competition from Google. The Chromebook has eclipsed Apple in the K-12 market. Third quarter sales figures highlighted that Chromebook sales increased from 40 percent to 51 percent. Mike Fisher, an associate director at Futuresource Consulting, stated, “It’s a tidal wave: Chrome is the clear U.S. Market leader now.”

In comparison, Apple’s classroom figures were less rosy. The figures highlighted a 24 percent drop in Apple hardware sales to schools.

There could be a few factors behind the Google Chromebook resurgence in the classroom market. One is that the Chromebook is cheaper than Apple alternatives. Consequently, it has become more economical for schools to invest in Google’s hardware. Other factors behind the Chromebook’s gains might be its more straightforward OS and low-maintenance requirements.

So now Apple is playing catch up on Google, the company has made this latest acquisition to strengthen its classroom software. However, Apple declined to comment on the latest deal. Historically, a spokesman stated, “Apple buys small technology companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans.” The LearnSprout CEO also said nothing about the deal.

Apple is most probably looking at developing new classroom tools to expand its user base. The latest acquisition of LearnSprout software could give Apple’s tablet hardware a boost in the classroom.