Phil Schiller says Apple's MacBook and iPad are better than Chromebooks for the classroom


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Today, Apple released the 16-inch MacBook Pro that professionals all over the world have been asking for. In building the new laptop, the company showed that it listened to a lot of user feedback, most of which centered on the keyboard and the ability to sustain high workloads without scorching the desk.

Phil Schiller sat down with CNET's Roger Cheng for an interview ahead of the official reveal and talked in great detail about the decision to go back to the traditional, scissor mechanism for the new keyboard. He also hinted that this could remain a "Pro" feature moving forward, as the company isn't ready to give up on its obsession with butterfly switches.

That said, towards the end of the interview Schiller was asked if Apple is worried about people moving to other platforms like Windows and Chrome OS. He responded in typical Apple fashion, emphasizing how students, professionals, and casual users have slowly come to appreciate the company's ability to marry the software with the hardware to produce computers that feel nice to use.

Schiller seems to think Chromebooks, in particular, have managed to capture a significant chunk of the education market (at least in the US) because of their low price. He noted that iPads are the “ultimate tool for a child to learn on,” while MacBooks are great for college students.

While it's not unexpected that he wouldn't praise devices sold by competitors, Schiller believes kids will not be quite as engaged when using a Chromebook. He says that "if all you want to do is test kids, well, maybe a cheap notebook will do that. But they’re not going to succeed."

Apparently, the secret to having your kids do their best in school and later on in life is to buy them expensive Apple tools. Of course, teachers think it's a matter of judging the pros and cons of the options, and the price of Chromebooks is usually a big pro when it comes to education.

In the meantime, Google and Microsoft have also been taking jabs at Apple. Google tried to roast the other two companies with an ad about load times and error messages. Microsoft, however, has even gone as far as finding someone named "Mac Book" for an ad that praises the Surface Laptop 2.

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"Man who's job is to sell Apple products says Apple products are better for classrooms (which usually order hundreds of the same product)"

Duh. So I'd like to ask where he thinks schools should get funding for this? Many districts across the US have funding problems. I guarantee more can afford 200 chromebooks at $179 a pop.


Posts: 1,528   +557
Wow, the marketing head of Apple says that their products are better than Chromebooks. Who would have guessed that would happen? :)

Seriously, he is just miffed that the Chromebooks are eating into their hardware sales, and that there is less opportunity for indoctrinating students into the iOS ecosystem to potentially get them hooked. Once you get in, it's hard to get out.

The problem is one of design intent - Apple's products are shiny, slick, easy to use, but fragile and not very versatile in a multi-user situation. Chromebooks are typically more durable, have a keyboard, and have at their core a robust multi-user friendly environment that is also built for easier larger scale IT support. It's the difference between a sports car and a minivan - one is built for the experience, the other is built for the utility and effectiveness.


Posts: 610   +260
I'm convinced. Where do I sign away my whole entire school's budget on just IT. Teachers don't need to be paid. Thats what we'll have iPads for.


Posts: 279   +127
"if all you want to do is test kids, well, maybe a cheap notebook will do that. But they’re not going to succeed."

Then idk why most successful people use thinkpad laptops or xps laptops

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,488   +1,463
TechSpot Elite
I've been using Apple products since 1980, I've use Macs since the early 90s, I game on PCs today, and I manage both at work. My kid uses a school-issued Chromebook for schoolwork. I always prefer the right tool for the job.

For schoolwork, the Chromebook is the right tool for the job.

Is Google using all that school data to their analytics benefit? I have to assume so. Is my kid being targeted with ads? I haven't seen any and I see that Chromebook far too much every day. And here's the killer app for the Chromebook: my kid can open up the same homework in a browser on the PC at home to use a more ergonomic setup and see the same damn stuff as on his 13" or whatever screen.

Sorry Phil, Chromebook wins.
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Sounds like typical Apple propaganda. Chromebooks essentially work as web-based portals using the Chrome browser. Since web-based applications are easier to maintain in a central repository, it makes life easier for IT administrators and developers so they can push updates and new versions on the the web sites. Also, Chromebooks are extremely, reasonably priced and if kids break them, they are easy and cheap to replace.