Chromebooks Edge Past Macs in U.S. Notebook Computers Market
Notebook computers carrying Google’s Chrome’s operating system outshipped Apple’s OS X models in the United States during the first quarter of this year, marking the first time Chromebooks exceeded Macs in country-wide sales figures.
In Q1, 1.6 million Chromebook units were shipped, according to Computerworld. In the same quarter, Apple shipped approximately 1.17 million Mac notebooks, including MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models. Chromebooks outperformed Macs by 37 percent according to those numbers, which are estimates based on vendor and supplier figures and were not confirmed by Google.
Battle of the Notebook Computers
The Chromebook is Google’s low-cost offering in the notebook category of PCs. Acer, Lenovo, ASUS and HP are among the companies that make them, and selling prices range from $199 to $429, Laptop Mag reports. Macs, on the other hand, sell for an average price of $1,266, according to Computerworld. The rising demand for low-priced PCs in schools is helping drive Chromebook shipments in the United States, according to The Verge.
Another key difference between Macs and Chromebooks is in the onboard storage available to users. While MacBooks can feature sizable in-device capacity, Chromebooks operate with applications and files intended to live largely in the cloud. The Chromebook is deeply connected to the Google App ecosystem, excluding options such as the native Microsoft Office suite. Office Online is an available option, as are other packages such as Adobe Photoshop.
The Overall PC Market
Meanwhile, overall U.S. shipments of PCs fell 11.5 percent to just over 60 million total units in Q1 2016 compared to Q1 2015, according to Computerworld. If there is to be any relief from this downturn in sales, it may very well hinge on the business sector as companies transition to Microsoft Windows 10 and drive corporate sales around the new operating system.
Last year, the consumer PC market dropped by 13 percent. Jay Chou, an IDC analyst, recently told Computerworld that the horizon looks unconvincing in terms of an uptick for consumer PC sales anytime soon.
“We’re not expecting consumer PCs to either grow or flatten out, but continue shrinking through 2020,” Chou told the source.