Chromebooks Are Now Outselling Macs

According to the latest figures from IDC, Chromebooks sales overtook Macs for the first time ever last quarter, with over two million Google-powered laptops sold in the US alone. (Apple "only" sold 1.76 million laptops in the same period.) The sales boost could not have come at a better time for Google, which is finally arming Chrome OS with a treasure-trove of apps from its Google Play store. In other words, we can expect the sales gap to widen as Chromebooks become fully-fledged computers -- particularly in the business sector.

IDC is a research firm that tracks global PC sales. Its latest report put combined Chromebooks sales from Dell, Lenovo, HP and others at 2 million units. This is around 15 per cent more than the number of Macs Apple manged to sell over the same period.

Now, it should be pointed out that the number of units sold does not translate to bigger profits. Unlike Macs, Chromebooks are famously cheap -- you can pick up brand-new units for under $300, while Macbooks start at just under $2000. However, this just shows that Chromebooks are becoming a serious force to be reckoned with.

Consumers are beginning to peg onto the fact that they don't need to spend thousands of dollars on a work laptop. A Chromebook can handle most online day-to-day computing tasks at a fraction of the price. They also look attractively thin and sleek thanks to the smaller number of components packed inside.

Later this year, the Play Store is finally coming to Chrome OS, which brings potential access to thousands of Android apps that were previously reserved for smartphones and tablets. This is particularly intriguing for business users, who will be able to purchase and use full versions of productivity apps such as Microsoft Office, Photoshop and Slack.

As Play Store integration begins to take hold, we wouldn't be surprised to see more small businesses adopt this technology for its workforce. Most of their employees are already highly familiar with the OS via the prevalence of the Chrome browser and Android smartphones. Many of them know the ins-and-outs of Android better than Windows.

When coupled with improved security and a much cheaper cost per unit, it makes perfect sense for businesses to consider Chromebooks for their next laptop rollout. The operating system's main weakness -- software limitations -- is about to be a thing of the past.

We're curious to hear what readers think. Would your consider a Google Play-powered Chromebook for your next work laptop? Or will you be sticking to the familiarity and inbuilt power of an Apple Mac or Windows PC? Let us know in the comments.

[Via Business Insider]


Comments

    Chromebooks are great for the basic computing that a lot of people use them for.

    Working in IT I need a bit more versatility though and will be sticking with Windows. They are perfect for the education sector though.

    I own a Chromebook so I'm biased but;
    I can't understand why they are so hard to buy in Australia. The Toshiba Chromebook is often judged as one of the better laptops but it's nearly impossible to find a normal retail outlet in Australia. Also outlets like JB Hifi (and the now defunct Dick Smith) used to sell Chromebooks but have since dropped them. Can anyone shed some light on why the Australian bricks & mortar retail sector is largely ignoring Chromebooks?

    PS. I am quite aware that Kogan and Dell offer Chromebooks but they are not a bricks & mortar retail outlet.

      profit margin of apple products? bundling of windows products?

      I imagine it is because they didn't sell. If there was money to be made, you can be sure that retailers would stock them. Personally, I don't see the point. You'd be better off hooking your phone up to a monitor or TV. Chromebooks seem even less useful than tablets (which are not useful at all).

    There are issues with all three computers, but I have a Chromebook because:
    a) They're inexpensive
    b) Cloud storage and third-party software programs are becoming more ubiquitous
    c) PCs laptops are seriously not very appealing either in interface or design. They're ugly, conservative, and my god: can't PCs make computers that rival Apple a little bit more? (Sony seems to have done this the best)? I, as a creative person, like design,interface, and feel. It's not superficial: it's important. PCs seem to think more is not better and just throw things on them no one uses; sort of like that ridiculous animated robot on Fox Football (Whaa?). I was excited when Windows 8 first came out and bought a PC b/c it was a 1/4 of the price as a Mac, but compared to Apple and Google, their apps were clunky and I never used them.
    d) However, my biggest disappointment belongs to Apple. I like their computers the best, though they're starting to become a bit generic-looking (ok: the multi-colored iMacs that looked like a space-head [and did ANYBODY use that handle on them?] and "toilet seat" laptops were a misstep. But that's not the reason. They price out customers like me who would like to support them: creative people (writer/teacher/artists) not into graphic design, who have no money, and don't have rich parents. I am also tired of Apple's pretentiousness (store clerks notwithstanding. I love those guys. They're such enthusiastic geeks in the best sense of the word), "We know better than you. You'll follow our new designs whether you like it or not." The Chromebook isn't perfect by any means. If Google wants to remain competitive they need maybe another higher-tiered operating system. But frankly, I hope the days of proprietary-ness (Microsoft Office, Apple, Google) are weaning. There HAS to be another company to compete with these guys! It's like American political party system!

    Hey Chris
    Why are Chromebooks not popular in Australia. I managed to get an android ready Acer C11 yesterday for $99 (display - but brand new) in JBHIFI yesterday - due to lack of interest. What a steal :-)

    FYI, MacBooks do not start at just under $2000.

    Both MacBook Air models are under $1000, the MacBook and MacBook Pro both start at $1300. Not that it matters much when you're comparing prices on Chromebooks to Apple products, just wanted to get some better numbers out there :)

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