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Consumers start feeling the love as Chromebook sales surge

Samsung, Acer, HP take three quarters of Google-based market

Chromebooks are set to become the next big thing in personal computing devices after sales skyrocketed by two thirds over the last quarter.

Shipments of Chromebooks jumped 67 per cent during the second quarter of 2014, and are projected to double in size year-on-year according to ABI Research.

Acer moved the most Google-attached laptop replacements, with Samsung and Hewlett-Packard rounding out the top three.

The trio accounted for 74 per cent of shipments in the first half of the year.

ABI Research estimated consumers are finally cottoning onto Chromebooks’ familiar form factor and low price, having initially seen little value.

“Consumers are hungry for a product that is cost effective but also provides the versatility and functionality of a laptop,” research analyst Stephanie Van Vactor said in a statement.

The question is whether this can be sustained in the long term. The numbers come after IDC this month reported that sales of PCs fell during the third calendar quarter of 2014, although not by as much as expected: they were down 1.7 per cent versus a forecast fall of 4.1 per cent. Sales of tablets, meanwhile, are falling.

“The growth of the Chromebook market demonstrates a niche that is gaining traction among consumers,” said an ABI analyst.

That said, vertical markets such as elementary education remain the driving force behind Chromebook shipments, while in Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe businesses are in charge; they account for 75 per cent of Chromebooks shifted in those regions. ®

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