It seems that Google may actually be on to something with Chrome OS if the latest computer sales figures for 2013 are any indication.
According to a recently released study from the NPD Group, Chromebooks took a massive chunk of the laptop market away from Microsoft and Apple this year. While the budget laptops registered as a barely a blip on the radar in 2012 with just .2 percent of the computer market, a surge to 21 percent of the laptop market made the devices account for 9.6 percent of all computer sales. Microsoft notebooks lost 8.8 percent of the market, while apple lost .8 percent.
The overall market – which includes desktops, laptops and tablets – had a very good year with a 25.4 percent increase over 2012. Desktop sales grew by 8.5 percent, beaten by laptops at 28.9 percent and tablets experiencing a sharp rise of 49 percent. The biggest loser this year, though, was Apple’s desktop and laptop categories which saw a combined decrease of 7 percent. Apple has said in the past that it knows the iPad cannibalizes its computer sales and it is fine with that.
In the tablet category, an area of technology that barely existed up until a few years ago, sales accounts for 22 percent of all personal computing devices sold this year. Android tablet sales grew by 160 percent, while iPads made up 59 percent of the market. Windows-based slates did increase year over year, but still account for a very small portion of the overall market.
“The market for personal computing devices in commercial markets continues to shift and change,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis, NPD. “New products like Chromebooks, and reimagined items like Windows tablets, are now supplementing the revitalization that iPads started in personal computing devices. It is no accident that we are seeing the fruits of this change in the commercial markets as business and institutional buyers exploit the flexibility inherent in the new range of choices now open to them.”
It seems as though there is room for all the products in the marketplace, but don’t be too surprised if you start seeing a lot more Chromebooks showing up in stores in the near future.