2014 Chromebook sales to top 5.2 million units

Samsung Chromebook 2 SeriesChromebook sales continue to gather steam. Market research firm Gartner expects that 2014 Chromebook sales will jump 79% over 2013 this year to reach 5.2 million units. As we have reported in the past, sales are driven mainly by the U.S. education sector which accounted for almost 85% of sales in 2013 and nearly 20% of the overall U.S. K-12 educational market for mobile computers.

While Chromebooks have done well in the education market, they are also making inroads in the business sector albeit more slowly. Gartner found that “businesses have looked at Chromebooks, but not bought many.” Gartner expects that this could grow though as companies increasingly shift to cloud solutions and collaborative working practices.

“Competition in the Chromebook market is intensifying as more vendors launch Chromebooks, with eight models in the market in 2014,” said Isabelle Durand, principal analyst at Gartner. “Now that the PC market is no longer growing strongly, vendors are searching for new business opportunities. They launched Chromebooks to revive interest in sub-$300 portable PCs once the netbook bubble had burst.”

According to Gartner, Samsung dominated Chromebook sales with a 64.9% market share in 2013. It was followed by Acer (21.4%), HP (6.8%), Lenovo (6.7%) and Dell (0.3%). But things changed in 2014 with Acer coming on strong and taking first spot away from Samsung in Q2.

Sales are also expected to continue growing over the next few years, reaching nearly 15 million by 2017. At the same time, Gartner expects that they will remain “a niche market” until they address a number of limitations that still inhibit their attractiveness to many customers. Among these are faster connectivity, faster memory access, faster and larger solid-state drives and larger displays. The announcement of Chromebooks such as the Acer Chromebook 13 just yesterday may be an early sign that manufacturers are starting to realize just that.

Source : Gartner