Although a number of PC makers are pretty vocal about the success of notebooks based on ChromeOS operating system, actual sales of such computers are pretty low, according to market analysts. Apparently, the global market share of Chromebooks in 2013 was about 0.6 per cent.
ABI Research estimates that 2.1 million Chromebooks shipped in 2013 with nearly 89% of total shipments reaching North America. As Chromebook shipments expand globally, ABI Research forecasts an increase of compound annual growth rate of 28 per cent to more significant 11 million in 2019. Still, 11 million will be almost nothing in five years’ time.
“ABI Research tracked Chromebooks across six regions and found the average selling price (ASP) to be $338,” said research analyst Stephanie Van Vactor. “This truly budget-driven device is a disruptive force to the portable PC market.” The ASP and shipment growth of Chromebooks shows the market responding to products for the budget conscious; a reaction from a slowly reviving economy along with interest from the education business vertical.
Looking ahead, ABI Research expects cost, connectivity, and greater reliance on cloud services to be driving forces in growth for ultraportable PCs. While in general ABI seems to be right, the facts just do not prove it. Apple Macintosh are known for their high prices and rather exotic operating system for most of the users, yet, their sales last year totaled 17.1 million units, according to Apple’s financial statements.
According to ABI, Chromebooks have the potential to change the market and consumers are still undecided but nonetheless intrigued.
“There are many events that can shift the market in 2014, including the EOL of Windows XP, the adoption of Chromebooks, and a stronger focus on web and cloud services,” adds senior practice director Jeff Orr. “How consumers and business audiences respond to these changes will impact the trajectory of the market.”
KitGuru Says: While Chromebooks may have a chance among people who do not care about their limited functionality, their sales numbers indicate that there are not a lot of such people. Moreover, for a Chromebook’s ASP of $338 (€245/£203), it is possible to get an inexpensive Windows-based laptop. While the latter will not be as portable as a Chromebook, it will just be more convenient to use.