Few weeks ago, a sales research report from NPD created lots of buzz among the tech blogging media because of one reason, Google Chromebooks. Because the research reported that Chromebooks accounted for 21 percent of all notebook sales, up from negligible share in the prior year, and 8 percent of all computer and tablet sales through November, up from one tenth of a percent in 2012 – the largest share increase across the various product segments.
Actually, many blogs misunderstood the report and reported that Chrombooks have captured 20% of the traditional PC market. The truth is that the report covers only the devices sold through commercial channel. Commercial channel are the distributors — like CDW and Ingram Micro — that many businesses, government agencies, schools and other organizations use to buy personal computers and other devices. Importantly, the report did not include consumer sales, nor PCs sold by OEMs, such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, directly to businesses. So, saying that Chrome captured 20% of the PC market is just insane.
“There has been a ton of misreporting as many lazy reporters and bloggers have characterized this as all sales, which it wasn’t, or even consumer sales, which it most assuredly was not,” said Stephen Baker of the NPD Group, in an email reply to questions. “It has been very personally distressing to me that so many reporters/bloggers refuse to read, or don’t know what commercial channels mean.”
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