Google Chromebook sales growing at a fast rate
Chromebooks are the devices that run on Google, Inc.’s (GOOG)(GOOGL) Chrome OS (operating system) and use the Internet for cloud-based storage. For example, PC manufacturer Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) may use the Chrome OS instead of Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT) Windows OS and the cloud infrastructure instead of a built-in storage space.
Chromebooks are cheaper on average than traditional PCs, which is why they’re gaining in popularity.
During its 3Q14 earnings call, Google management noted that the company had worked with HP, Toshiba, and Acer to introduce five new devices in the last quarter. Management added that the company is now selling Chromebooks in six new countries, for a total distribution network of 31 countries.
Samsung and Acer are the two top players in the Chromebook market
According to a report from research firm Gartner, Google Chromebook sales will reach 5.2 million in 2014—that’s 79% growth from 2013. On the other hand, it’s a well-known fact that the overall PC market is undergoing a structural decline. The same report notes that Samsung Electronics Ltd. (SSNLF) and Acer are the two dominant players to have invested in Chromebooks, with respective markets shares of 65% and 21%, as the chart above shows.
Samsung benefited from the first-mover advantage, while Acer uses cheaper Intel Corporation (INTC) chips instead of ARM-based chips to target price-sensitive customers. HP, Lenovo Group Ltd. (LNVGY), and Dell are some of the other players in the Chromebook market.