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Mac education sales have grown in US since iPad debut, weakening Apple cannibalization worries

The Mac's long history of success in the education market hasn't been slowed by the introduction of Apple's more affordable iPad, as Mac sales to schools and students have instead grown since the iPad first launched in 2010.

The Mac's continued success in education was highlighted on Monday by analyst Charlie Wolf with Needham and Company. He noted that U.S. education sales of the Mac during the years since the iPad was introduced are higher than the comparable period before the iPad was introduced.

"Since U.S. education sales have been virtually flat over the past seven years, we find the Mac's performance to be nothing less than outstanding," Wolf said in a note to investors, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider.Success with both the Mac and iPad helped Apple reach education sales of $1 billion in a single quarter for the first time last year.

"The fact that Mac sales held steady indicates that the iPad did not cannibalize Mac education sales. Rather, the dramatic growth of iPad sales in the education market reflects the discovery by schools and universities of new uses for the iPad that were not possible with traditional PCs."

Though Mac sales to the U.S. education market have grown, Apple's iPad has still proven to be a more popular platform for education buyers. Since the launch of the iPad in 2010 through the end of calendar 2013, Apple has sold more than 7 million iPads in the U.S. educational market, compared to 5.7 million Mac sales during the same period.

Rather than cannibalizing Apple's own Mac sales, there is instead evidence that the iPad is eating away at sales of traditional Windows PCs to both schools and students. Apple itself has said its tracking shows the iPad accounts for 94 percent of tablets being used in education.

"It's sort of unheard of — I've never seen a market share that high before," Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said last fall. "So we feel like we're doing really well here, and feel great to be making a contribution to education."

Success with both the iPad and the Mac helped Apple to reach new heights in education sales last year. The company revealed last October that education sales topped $1 billion for the first time ever in the company's third fiscal quarter of 2013.