Growth has been increasingly hard to come by for the likes of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) highly popular iPad tablet. 

Apple received plenty of scrutiny when it issued a surprise drop in iPad shipments in its most recently reported quarter, although the decline wasn't actually as ugly as the surface-level number.

Ipad Family

Source: Apple.

However, there's still the undeniable truth that the tablet market as a whole is careening toward maturity, and that growth for the entire category will likely be harder to come by across the board in the future.

And keeping that in mind, Apple's iPad recently received a key defeat in an important market at the hands of the likes of Microsoft and Google.

LAUSD says "so long" to Apple's iPad
Recently, the Los Angeles Unified School District underwent a massive overhaul of its tablet program, one with which Apple had secured contracts worth upward of $650 million alone. However, LAUSD administrators recently underwent a change of heart and will no longer support Apple's iPad in as many as 27 different schools. Instead, they'll be providing six new options, including the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and two different Google Chromebooks.

More broadly, though, this marks a symbolic defeat in the education market Apple heavily markets its iPad toward and raises even more questions about the growth underpinning Apple's tablet going forward. In the following video, tech and telecom specialist Andrew Tonner examines the news of Apple's tablet defeat in greater detail.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning -- it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee that its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are even claiming that its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts that 485 million of these devices will be sold per year. But one small company makes this gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and to see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Andrew Tonner owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google (A and C shares) and owns shares of Apple, Google (A and C shares), and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.