Sales of Chromebook computers have soared over the past few months as manufacturers and consumer begin to embrace the low-cost portable devices, new research has found.
The devices, which run Google’s Chrome OS, enjoyed a 67 percent rise in sales during the last quarter as consumers increasingly switch away from traditional desktop and laptop computers for something easier to use on the go.
The rise is set to continue, predicts analyst firm ABI Research, with sales doubling year on year as Chromebooks gain more presence in developing markets such as Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe, where business-purchasing entities currently account for 75 percent of sales.
However North America still remains the strongest market for Chromebooks, and is forecast to account for 78 percent of all sales in 2014, thanks partly to a huge growth in schools and universities implementing the devices.
“Consumers are hungry for a product that is cost effective but also provides the versatility and functionality of a laptop,” said research analyst Stephanie Van Vactor. “The growth of the Chromebook market demonstrates a niche that is gaining traction among consumers.”
The rise in sales is due to a range of manufacturers entering the Chromebook market, particularly Acer, which accounts for 37 percent of all worldwide sales thanks to products such as the C720 range.
Behind them came Samsung and HP, with the three companies accounting for 74 percent of shipments during the first half of the year, a trend forecasted to continue throughout the rest of 2014.
“Chromebooks may be a temporary fad similar to the netbook, but the form-factor design and low-cost price tag draws considerable interest that may be a longer term trend,” adds Van Vactor. “Chromebooks may have more of a place in the market than originally anticipated, especially as more vendors jump on board and sales continue to grow.”
The findings correlate nicely with forecasts made earlier this year by Gartner, which predicted a 79 percent increase in sales of Chromebooks this year, with sales projected to reach 5.2 million units during 2014, but then to nearly triple to 14.4 million units by 2017.
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