Apple does exceedingly well in the education market, but there’s still room for growth, as shown by the “Academic Library Computer Technology Benchmarks” from Research and Markets(, which looks at the computer use and purchasing plans of academic libraries worldwide.

According to the study, the mean number of personal computers purchased in the 2010-11 academic year by the colleges in the sample was 18.6. Approximately 10.06% of planned acquisitions were for Macs — less than 1% for community colleges but more than 20% for research universities. The libraries in the sample had a mean stock of only 6.36 dual boot computers that can run both the Mac and Windows operating systems.

Over 10% of planned purchases is substantial, considering Apple has just under 10% personal computer market share in the US and under 5% worldwide. But with the “halo effect” of the iPhone and iPad, Apple has a good chance to increase all these numbers.

When it comes to junior colleges, and their lower budgets, there’s also a chance for Apple to make in-roads. Can you say iPad? Of course, you can. And after the iPads catch on, if the US economy improves and college budgets hopefully go up, those Apple tablets may help Macs get an even bigger foot in the educational door.

— Dennis Sellers