Google Chromebook threatens Apple and Microsoft

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Dec. 3 2014, Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

Education sector driving Google Chromebook sales

In Part 7 of this series, we discovered why Google, Inc.’s (GOOG)(GOOGL) Chromebook is becoming a popular option for consumers. According to research firm Gartner, and as the chart below shows, Chromebook sales could continue to accelerate in the future. Chromebook sales could increase from 2.9 million in 2013 to 14.4 million in 2017, at a compounded average growth rate of around 50%.

The Gartner report adds that in 2013, about 85% of Chromebook sales came from the education sector. During the 3Q14 earnings call, Google confirmed that it had sold more than 1 million Chromebooks in the education sector last quarter. This should worry Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)Mobile chromebooks sales

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How Chromebook is a threat to Apple and Microsoft

Currently, Apple’s iPad dominates the US education tablet market with a share of 95%. However, according to a report from Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Unified School District is planning to replace the iPad with different Microsoft Windows and Chromebook laptops. Apparently, iPad doesn’t satisfy the needs of all students.

Microsoft has also been eyeing the education sector. It teamed up with CDI college, a Canadian career training institute, to supply more than 5,800 Surface 2 tablets to CDI students earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Google Chromebook sales are growing fast, courtesy of the education sector. At the Worldwide Partner Conference held in July 2014, Microsoft announced that it would counter the Chromebook threat by introducing cheap tablets based on a Windows 8.1 operating system. The tablets will be manufactured by Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ), Acer, and Toshiba, and will be priced cheaply, in the range of $200 and $300.

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