Acer Leads Rapid Chromebook Growth

Chromebook shipments were up 67% QoQ globally in Q3’14, with Acer in the lead, according to ABI Research. The market’s top three vendors (Acer, Samsung and HP) accounted for 74% of shipments in the first half of the year; Acer shipped about 0.3 million units, while Samsung and HP shipped around 0.2 million each. Total Chromebook sales are forecast to rise 100% YoY in 2014, to 4.1 million (the total PC market will exceed 300 million).

While Chromebook sales were slow to begin with, their low-cost, combined with their versatility and laptop functionality, are winning more adopters. Vertical markets such as education are a driving force. Businesses also demonstrate strong take-up, accounting for 75% of sales in APAC and Eastern Europe in Q3. However, North America is the product category’s largest market, forecast to represent 78% of sales (3.2 million units) this year. Other regions, especially APAC and Western Europe, will grow in market share by 2019.

Some consider Chromebooks a ‘temproary fad’, like netbooks; however, “the form-factor design and low-cost price tag draws considerable interest that may be a longer term trend”, said ABI’s Van Vactor.