Global spending on education technology within the classroom reached U.S. $13 billion last year — up 11 percent from 2012, according to a market study from Futuresource Consulting cited in Market Watch. The study relates a significant increase in the mobile PC market, with classroom display devices — such as projectors and interactive whiteboards (IWBs) — and complementary devices — such as visualizers, voice amplification, and related devices. This growth is expected to continue into 2018 and beyond. Colin Messenger, a senior market analyst at Futuresource Consulting, says, “Despite a lull in some technology markets, education technology continues to perform, even with pressure being applied to education budgets across the world,” adding, “Our annual strategic report also shows that there’s growth aplenty to come, with the total value expected to reach U.S. $19 billion by 2018, a CAGR of 8 percent from 2013 to 2018.”
Increased spending in educational technology has been propelled forward by the staggering uplift in the mobile PC market — laptops, tablets, and netbooks — which now accounts for 62 percent of total segment spending. This uplift has been driven primarily by the iPad and iPad Mini, the sales of which are taking a large slice of the budget. With the implementation of large projects such as Turkey’s FATIH tender, as well as other tenders in Korea, India, and Thailand, Tablet PCs are also projected to see marked growth over the forecast period.
The classroom display market is also experiencing rapid growth: 1.4 million displays were sold into education last year. The product mix continues to transform, with interactive flat panels experiencing more than a four-fold volume increase. The proliferation of new models and new vendors entering the market has led to increased competition, particularly for IWB vendors who have traditionally dominated the segment. The interactive flat panel market is expected to have some of the greatest growth in the classroom technology market, with a 2013 to 2018 volume CAGR of 11 percent.
Opportunities are growing for VARs in education. According to Messenger, “as the education sector continues to transition towards digital, further avenues need to be explored beyond the hardware itself, with the flow channeling from hardware activity into software, content, infrastructure, and services.”