NPD: Chromebook sales outperform MacBooks in commercial sector as iPad loses ground

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
According to a recent NPD report, Apple hardware took a hit in commercial sales during 2013 while Google's platforms rallied; the largest gainer being Chromebook, which outsold MacBooks five to one.

NPD
Source: NPD


From January to November 2013, research firm NPD saw a total of 14.4 million desktops, notebooks and tablets sold through U.S. commercial channels, representing a 25.4 percent jump from last year.

Overall, Apple's MacBook and iPad lines dipped in market share as competition from Google's Android and Chrome, as well as Microsoft's mobile Windows machines, picked up steam. Together, devices running Google's Chromebook and Android platforms accounted for 1.76 million units moving through the channel.

As noted by Computerworld the most dramatic change in the commercial channel was sales of laptops reconfigured with Google's Chrome OS. As seen in the above graph, so-called Chromebooks gobbled up 9.6 percent of the market from January to November, a massive 9.4 percent uptick from the same period in 2012.

Chromebooks took a commanding second place position behind stalwart Windows laptops, while previous No. 2 MacBooks dropped 0.8 percent to end November with 1.8 percent of the market.

From 0.1% in 2012, Chromebooks took 21% of all notebook sales -- 8% of all computer sales -- during the period from January to November 2013.Across product segments, Chromebooks accounted for 21 percent of all notebook sales and 8 percent of all computer and tablet sales during the period, up from one tenth of a percent in 2012, says NPD.

Chromebooks' usually low price of entry is a major draw for businesses looking to kit their staff with machines while staying under budget. With Chrome OS basically free to use, OEMs can keep complete system pricing low. The stripped-down platform does not require high-end internals to run, allowing manufacturers to further cut costs with low-resolution screens, low-end CPUs and other bargain-basement components. Chromebooks start as low as $199.

Despite the impressive gains, commercial sales are trending toward tablets, as seen by the drop in both desktop and laptop sales -- Chromebooks excluded -- and the rise of Android and Windows slates. Tablet sales accounted for more than 22 percent of all computing device sales in the commercial channel through November.

"The market for personal computing devices in commercial markets continues to shift and change," said NPD's vice president of industry analysis Stephen Baker. "New products like Chromebooks, and reimagined items like Windows tablets, are now supplementing the revitalization that iPads started in personal computing devices. It is no accident that we are seeing the fruits of this change in the commercial markets as business and institutional buyers exploit the flexibility inherent in the new range of choices now open to them."

Apple remained the clear leader in this segment with a 59 percent share, which translated to 15.8 percent of all personal computing device sales. That number is down 1.3 percent from last year. Android-based tablets climbed to 8.7 percent of all commercial sales, up from 4.2 percent in 2012. Microsoft's Windows tablets moved from 0.8 percent to 2.2 percent.

NPD


Finally, Apple retained the No. 3 spot in NPD's top personal computing device brands for the U.S. commercial channel with a 16.1 percent unit share, down from 17.9 percent in 2012. First place went to HP with a 30.4 percent unit share, while Lenovo finished second with a 23.3 percent share. Samsung came in third, jumping from a negligible 1.7 percent in 2012 to 10 percent this year. Due to overall market expansion, HP, Lenovo, Apple and Samsung showed positive year-over-year growth of 4.9 percent, 24 percent, 13.3 percent and 678 percent, respectively.

"Tepid Windows PC sales allowed brands with a focus on alternative form factors or operating systems, like Apple and Samsung, to capture significant share of a market traditionally dominated by Windows devices," Baker said. "Yet the Windows PC in commercial channels is clearly not dead, and its biggest brand proponents, HP and Lenovo, remain deeply committed to that product. However, as businesses upgrade from older machines and operating systems in the year ahead, the long-term trend is clearly towards greater hardware diversity, which all manufacturers will need to embrace in order to continue to grow."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 208
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,509member
    As is common with statistics analysis you can find other sources that tend to dispute this one. Gruber (I can't remember if he's supposed to be trusted or not :\) cites StatCounter to question the Chromebook numbers, tho he doesn't dispute the good showing no matter which one is closer. (Thanks S." for the link)
  • Reply 2 of 208
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    As is common with statistics analysis you can find other sources that tend to dispute this one. Gruber (I can't remember if he's supposed to be trusted or not :\) cites StatCounter to question the Chromebook numbers, tho he doesn't dispute the good showing no matter which one is closer. (Thanks S." for the link)

    I don't think either NPD or StatCounter is lying but I do question how NPD was able to get their information about sales. At least with StatCounter it's clear it only refers to devices visiting their site.

    People want to hate on Chromebook but I'd rather have one over a netbook running Win7 if I was someone needing a simple, cheap computer for surfing the web. Netbooks were a flash-in-the-pan but it was a huge flash that had everyone asking and expecting Apple to release a netbook (I think it was even asked at a stockholder meeting). I said then I thought netbooks made little sense but I do think Chromebook make sense.
  • Reply 3 of 208
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    The massive increase seems odd. And do businesses really restrict themselves to web apps?
  • Reply 4 of 208
    And yet, I've never once seen a chrome book in the wild.

    Not at any corporate meeting, not in any cafe, not in any studios, not anywhere...

    iPads galore. And more apple laptops than any other.

    Somehow, this "info" seems very flawed.

    No corporation has use for a chrome book.
  • Reply 5 of 208
    I agree, having never seen a Chromebook in the wild, I wonder where they are?

    Regarding tablets, most corporate tablets are BYOD and would not show up from interviewing CIOs.
  • Reply 6 of 208
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    9secondko wrote: »
    And yet, I've never once seen a chrome book in the wild.

    Not at any corporate meeting, not in any cafe, not in any studios, not anywhere...

    iPads galore. And more apple laptops than any other.

    Somehow, this "info" seems very flawed.

    No corporation has use for a chrome book.

    Not that my anecdotal observations at coffee shops are representative of the market — otherwise nearly all PCs would be Macs and the only thing you can do with them is Facebook :p — but I haven't seen any. I still see netbooks but those are being used by the homeless.
  • Reply 7 of 208
    Are Mikey Campbell's posts designed as a setup for DED? It seems all his stories are of the brain-dead "Apple is doomed" type that DED rails against. Seems Appleinsider needs to do a little housekeeping with their staff..
  • Reply 8 of 208

    If Chromebooks does take off, I'd feel sorry for the HW manufacturers. The margins has gotta be miniscule.

  • Reply 9 of 208
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,536member
    I'm baffled. Is this April's fools? I've seen only one friend with a chromebook, and she hates it. It can't even connect to a network drive.
  • Reply 10 of 208
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    People want to hate on Chromebook but I'd rather have one over a netbook running Win7 if I was someone needing a simple, cheap computer for surfing the web. Netbooks were a flash-in-the-pan but it was a huge flash that had everyone asking and expecting Apple to release a netbook (I think it was even asked at a stockholder meeting). I said then I thought netbooks made little sense but I do think Chromebook make sense.
    I'd take a netbook running windows 95 before id use a personal information tracker chromebook.
  • Reply 11 of 208
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    The other issue businesses should have with google docs is it is very very very unsafe. Once something is shared by somebody you have it until it is unshared ( and google docs tends to merge your accounts). I still have access to documents from previous companies. Nothing important but they are still there v
  • Reply 12 of 208
    It's really odd how sales suddenly surged based on what was reported only last month. Most of the data is slanted one way or another. Take it all with a grain of salt. If ChromeBooks are setting the world on fire, the data will prove itself in 2014.

    http://www.zdnet.com/latest-idc-figures-show-chromebooks-continue-to-struggle-7000023000/
  • Reply 13 of 208
    Thank you for including "in commercial sector" in the headline.

    The commercial sector is sales to businesses, government, education and other organizations.

    MacRumors forgot to include that little nugget of information... and a shitstorm brewed over there.

    Let's make this clear: In the total market... Chromebooks do NOT outsell Macbooks 5 to 1

    Last quarter... Apple sold 4 million Macs... and I'd imagine a healthy amount of them were Macbooks.

    In contrast... I've seen reports that Chromebooks only sold about 700,000 units last quarter.
  • Reply 14 of 208
    juiljuil Posts: 75member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post



    And yet, I've never once seen a chrome book in the wild.



    Not at any corporate meeting, not in any cafe, not in any studios, not anywhere...



    iPads galore. And more apple laptops than any other.



    Somehow, this "info" seems very flawed.



    No corporation has use for a chrome book.

    Your experience mirror my own (although I’m from Canada and work in advertising, so that might influence things) - I’ve yet to even see one in person anywhere.

  • Reply 15 of 208
    I've NEVER seen a Chromebook "in the wild" either. Ever. Where are they? Are we missing something?
  • Reply 16 of 208
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post



    And yet, I've never once seen a chrome book in the wild.

    As Chromebooks are (if I understand correctly) nearly completely dependent on the cloud, it's not surprising they'd not be seen in the wild. Absent someone using their phone as a wi-fi hotspot, or visiting a venue with wi-fi, Chromebooks would be stranded. I expect you might see more of them in homes and offices equipped with wi-fi.

  • Reply 17 of 208
    esoomesoom Posts: 155member
    There's no way those stats are accurate. I know a lot of computer savvy folks, and know only one person (me) who's had a chromebook,it was god awful and I gave it away.
  • Reply 18 of 208

    A dirt-cheap netbook that sells well. 

     

    Already saw this movie. Know how it ends, too.

  • Reply 19 of 208
    Chrome books are perfect for schools. They are cheap, tightly integrated with the web, and come with basic app, mail and cloud storage for free. Many schools jumped on the iPad bandwagon, but began to realize that the iPad is a lot better for content consumption than content creation, and is very expensive compared to Chromebooks. So maybe that's who is buying Chromebooks.
  • Reply 20 of 208
    Define "content creation" that schools would need.
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