Feature Article

April 02, 2014

Chromebook Shipments to See Steady Growth Through 2019

Chromebooks seemed like nothing more than a curiosity when the first models from Acer and Samsung were first introduced in 2011, but the cloud-centric laptops have managed to carve out a niche in the fading PC space. In fact, new research from market intelligence firm ABI Research states that around 2.1 million Chromebooks were shipped last year, with 89 percent of these reaching North America. Going forward, the laptops are expected to see a CAGR of 28 percent to reach 11 million shipments in 2019.

The way ABI sees it, the moderate success of the Chromebook means the market is responding to budget-friendly products. Interest from the education business vertical is also a factor, but apparently a lesser one.

“ABI Research tracked Chromebooks across six regions and found the average selling price (ASP) to be US$338,” said Stephanie Van Vactor, research analyst for ABI, in a statement. “This truly budget-driven device is a disruptive force to the portable PC market.”

It’s hard to argue the point that people want cheaper products as the broader portable PC market continued to struggle last year. The Windows 8-powered ultraportable segment, for example, managed minimal growth during the fourth quarter of 2013. ABI expects the ASP of devices in this segment to decline through to 2019 as they struggle to compete with the likes of Chromebooks and tablets.

Perhaps more importantly, the research firm believes that Windows ultraportables will start to resemble Chromebooks more and more in terms of reliance on cloud services going forward. This is interesting considering the fact that Google and VMware teamed up earlier this year to make Windows available on Chromebooks by way of virtualization technology. In other words, the line between Chromebook and Windows laptop should become increasingly blurred.

That aside, it seems conferencing will play a major role in Google’s plans to further Chrome OS, a strategy that leans heavily on the platform’s integration of Google+ Hangouts.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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