Chromebooks destroyed Apple in back-to-school shopping

Apple Inc. had a rough back-to-school season in personal-computer sales, while Alphabet Inc.’s low-price Chromebooks were a big hit for students, according to two third-party analyses released Tuesday.

International Data Corp. and Gartner Inc. reported tabulations of PC sales for the third quarter Tuesday, and both analyses showed huge drops for Apple’s AAPL, +0.22% Mac sales in the important back-to-school quarter. IDC tracked a 13% decline for Apple from the same quarter a year ago, while Gartner reported that Mac sales dropped 13.4%.

Chromebook sales told an opposite story, which is revealed in the difference between the two studies.

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