Apple has lost ground in the US education market to Dell since 2000, according to IT analyst firm IDC.

Apple's market share has fallen from 20.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2000 to 15.2 per cent in the most recent quarter of 2002.

Hardware vendor Dell, on the other hand, has fared significantly better, seeing its share increase from 22.6 per cent to 34.9 per cent over the same period.

IDC analyst Roger Kay told MacCentral: "I think it [the decline in market share] happened to Apple in education for a similar reason it happened in the general market. Windows became established as the defacto standard. For a lot of reasons that meant that Windows costs were less. Apple's products are premium priced to begin with, although they have recently modified that, it's too little, too late."

Apple's attempts to bolster its education market share include employing Cheryl Vedoe as vice president of education marketing and solutions – a newly created post; the acquisition of student information system, PowerSchool; and the introduction of the eMac.

Apple has had some success in the education market, signing up Henrico County, Virginia, to purchase 23,000 computers in an initiative to give every 7th grade student in the state a new iBook.