Chromebooks Edge Past Macs in U.S. Notebook Computers Market

By: James O'Brien| - Leave a comment

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.

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About The Author

James O'Brien

Freelance Writer

As a journalist and writer in the branded content space, James O'Brien covers business, technology, social media, marketing, film, food, wine, writing and news. The Nieman Journalism Lab has called his work in the custom content space "sponsored content done right." He has written for major regional newspapers, and he has managed and edited established, startup and turnaround newsrooms in varied markets, from community papers to major-city dailies. He consults for firms and businesses — startups to seasoned — on the creation of effective content strategies and the establishment of practical editorial calendars for enacting them. O'Brien holds a Ph.D. in Editorial Studies from the Editorial Institute at Boston University, where he researched and edited Bob Dylan's other-than-song writings. He is engaged in a bibliography for Oxford University Press, covering writings about filmmaker John Cassavetes. He is the author of "The Indie Writer's Survival Guide." His short stories and poetry are published in numerous journals and magazines.

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