Apple Exec Clarifies Kids “Not Going to Succeed” with Chromebooks Comment

Looks like Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller is trying to clear the air on his earlier comments in an interview with CNET.

The interview with CNET discussed Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro, in particular, a focus on the new scissor switch keyboard.

One of the last questions asked Schiller about Google’s Chromebooks. Near the end of his answer, Schiller says kids will not succeed if they’re just using a “cheap notebook” to test them, referring to Chromebooks.

CNET: You talked about MacBook as popular with college students. But Chromebooks have grown in the education market. What’s your perspective on that?


We did a study, many many years ago in education, about the importance and the role of technology in the classroom, how can it help with the education process. The result of this education research we did was that the students who succeed are the ones who are most engaged, which is really simple.

Kids who are really into learning and want to learn will have better success. It’s not hard to understand why kids aren’t engaged in a classroom without applying technology in a way that inspires them. You need to have these cutting-edge learning tools to help kids really achieve their best results.

Yet Chromebooks don’t do that. Chromebooks have gotten to the classroom because, frankly, they’re cheap testing tools for required testing. If all you want to do is test kids, well, maybe a cheap notebook will do that. But they’re not going to succeed.

In a later tweet, Schiller clarified his CNET interview, now saying “every child has the ability to succeed”:

Every child has the ability to succeed — helping them to do that has always been our mission. In the full conversation with CNET, we discussed giving kids and teachers the content, curriculum and tools they need to learn, explore and grow. Not just to take a test.

Roger Cheng, who interviewed Schiller on CNET, jumped in and replied to Schiller with a link to the latter’s full answer within the interview. Who to believe? That’s up to you.

The bottom line is Chromebooks are great in schools because kids need affordable notebooks to connect to the web to type up documents, research the web and whatever else. Apple’s MacBooks and iPads are expensive compared to Chromebooks at scale. Take a look at any school and you’ll see the popularity of Chromebooks in classrooms.