ABI Research on Tuesday published its research data on Chromebook shipments, revealing not only impressive figures for last year, but incredible growth opportunity for the affordable laptops that run Chrome OS, Google’s laptop operating system. ABI Research estimates that 2.1 million Chromebook units were shipped in all of last year, primarily in North America which made up 89 percent of all shipments. Meanwhile, it says that by 2019 it expects more than 11 million units will ship.
While analysts love to say that the laptop is dead, specifically as sales of tablets increase, it’s clear that there’s room for low-cost notebook computers — the firm found that the average selling price was $338. “This truly budget-driven device is a disruptive force to the portable PC market,” ABI Research analyst Stephanie Van Vactor explained.
While Chromebooks are blossoming, other ultraportables are not. ABI Research said that ultraportables running Windows 8 saw “minimal growth” during the fourth quarter of last year, despite holiday shopping, and that it expects the average selling price to fall about 7.4 percent this year as those devices try to adapt to competition from all devices.
The latest Chromebook coming to market is the Samsung Chromebook 2, which was introduced last month and offers a 125-percent bump in power over its predecessor. That shows that, while costs will likely remain low, performance doesn’t always have to be a sacrifice. That trend will no doubt help push Chromebook shipments to help meet ABI Research’s outlook.