Latest NPD Report Is A Shocker, Chromebooks Accounted For 21 Percent Of All Notebook Sales In The US

Google Chromebook

NPD Group’s Distributor Track and Commercial Reseller Tracking Service today reported that over 14.4 million desktops, notebooks, and tablets were sold through U.S. commercial channels in this year to date through November 2013. Windows laptops showed zero growth over 2012 while Windows desktops saw a 10% increase in numbers. Even Apple sales for laptops and desktops fell by 7%. The real shocker from the report is regarding Google Chromebooks which saw a tremendous growth.

NPD November Sales

Chromebooks, and Android tablets collectively had the biggest impact on sales growth, with 1.76 million units going through the channel from January through November of this year, compared to just 400,000 units in 2012.

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.

I clear don’t understand the market for Chromebooks. Who is buying these Chromebooks? And what’s their use case for it? I guess Microsoft clearly saw this strange trend of rising Chromebooks and started the campaign against it.

Microsoft Warns Not To Get Scroogled By A Chromebook (Video)

Source: NPD

  • GetEdumated

    If true all this means is that 21% of laptop buyers now know how worthless Chromebooks are.

    • techieg

      Also, people may be buying Chromebooks for the cheap hardware to install other OSes like Linux for other purposes as opposed to buying one for the sole purpose of just using Google apps on it.

  • tropolite

    I’d say its people buying them for Chrissy presents, but in a couple weeks there will be an load of chromebooks hitting eBay for sale. That’s if the figures are true.

    • Asgard

      Yeah I have seen Google fans saying they buy these for their parents, grand parents, … even if its not enough for themselves. I dont see people who buy chromebook buying another in the future.

  • sri_tech

    The headline is very wrong. Its not 21% of US notebook sales. Its only commercial reseller sales (may be some sort of resellers for businesses, schools).

    According to this report 1.76 million is the total of both android tablets and chromebooks combined for 11 months in 2013.

    But as per IDC, in Q3, 2013 in US, 16.4 million PCs are sold.
    That is only for 3 months period (July, August, September). In Q1, 2013 it was 14+ million and in Q2 its 15.65 million. Assuming in October and November another 10 million PCs are sold in US, the total no. of PCs sold in US from Jan to Nov 2013 are 55 million.

    From the above graph around 1 million chromebooks are sold to commercial resellers not to end consumers.

    Refrain from sensationalist head lines and try to understand the actual facts.

    Chromebooks are selling better than last year and Microsoft should keep that the growing OEM support for these chromebooks and make the Windows RT for free immediately rather than an year later.

  • Socius

    Title is misleading. Somehow they’ve decided to lump together the Tablet and Chromebook categories in Googles favour. I’m sure there are a lot of clueless people who buy chromebooks thinking that they are indeed laptops.
    On the positive side…windows tablets seem to have had the biggest percentage change in the same period.

  • ZloiYuri

    Who? Zombied by Fuuugle

  • steveo99

    This just goes to say that people like buying cheap shit. I’d like to see the return rates of these jobbies, it’s like the Linux netbook again.

    • Bugbog

      You’re even sullying Linux Distro’s with the comparison!

      • BoosterRooster

        Chrome OS *IS* a Linux Distro….I *really* do think you should stop posting until you know what you are talking about…Dumm Bugbog

    • VHMP01

      No, people don’t like overprices overrated crap!

  • Nham Thien Duong

    Microsoft should stop advertising them, even debunking their usefulness is still publicity, and Google YouTube has dozens of commercials about those worthless Chromebooks, I’ve tried one and I don’t see why they’re a better (or even cheaper) choice than any Microsoft Windows running P.C. on the market, Chromebooks aren’t even real P.C.’s they’re C.C.’s (Cloud-Computers) (kind of like Windows 8.1 (Blue) is getting, but at-least we have killer apps and function offline).

  • eDameXxX

    I think MS should talk with OEMs that they should make cheap (<300 USD) and nice-looking notebooks with Windows RT.

    • Bugbog

      This is where the ‘craziness’ comes in to it; RT is lambasted for being “crippled” and none of the OEM’s wish to touch it, but Chrome is supposed to be some sort of saviour? Chrome doesn’t even have half of the capability of Android, much less the ability to expand its ‘app’ catalog!

      • BoosterRooster

        Please stop posting, you are making yourself look stupid with your clear lack of knowledge. With my Chromebook I can access my emails and calendars offline, edit documents, I can listen to my music while I edit my photos or If I feel like it I can play games like Angry Birds – ALL OFFLINE !!! but ask yourself this, how often do you use a laptop offline nowadays ??? very rarely is the answer. But you remind me of Ballmer laughing at the iPhone, and we all know how that worked out !!! I did look at RT but found there were far too few apps, so yes RT is badly crippled, I will agree with you on that point.

        • Rann Xeroxx

          Not lambasting ChromeBooks but your points seem, well, pointless. RT via Metro has more apps then ChromeOS at the moment and there is more growth in Metro. RT also supports touch/stylus UI, has full Office, can map network shares and printers, supports about 100K USB devices, etc. There are interesting apps in both ecosystems.

          What ChromeBooks really have going for them is they are full sized clamshell computers that are very cheap (the Samsung one comes to mind). Even RT devices can’t compete with ChromeBooks on price.

          • freeman

            Every web app/page on the internet is available to ChromeOS. This has much more growth than really slow to load metro apps. Also ChromeOS is touch screen/ stylus. There are at least two models out with touch screens.

          • bhss

            Saying a Chromebook has apps because of WebApps is like saying a PC has apps thanks to Flash games

          • free2

            They are not really the same thing. Chromeos/chrome is a webapp platform that has a webstore that hosts packaged apps, extensions, webapps and even websites. It also hosts webapps containing c++/c native client and portable native client across multiple platforms. Any good seo will advise listing in the store. These r not third party plugins like flash.

          • Rann Xeroxx

            Yes, that is my point. Both ChromeOS and RT both can use web apps via their respective browsers. There are currently more Metro than Chrome apps. The momentum seems to be on Metro but that could change with the recent successful sells in ChromeBooks.

            In the long run, I would put my money on Metro apps only because MS is working on allowing Metro apps to run in desktop “windows” on the .2 iteration of Window 8. If this happens, that would greatly spur app development from the desktop to Metro.

            And to say that just because a device has touch that its touch enabled is really only half true. The Windows desktop is not optimized for touch and neither is ChromeOS or their apps. Metro is as is the gestures and charms.

          • free2

            Why would desktop users want to use sandboxed metro apps instead.of unrestricted desktop apps. Microsoft would be better making one store hosting both. Many people just hate metro. I also know many windows consumer users who just don’t like massive change like metro. Forcing it could alienate these consumers completely.

            As for webapps on windows 8. The browser in metro behaves different than in desktop mode not a good start. There is no real extension system. Metro apps are like packaged apps but if I write my app as a packaged app I can sell it on windows, Mac and chrome OS. Soon also android. They also support native client and portable native client so they can include and execute native c++ code like an OCR engine offline.

            IE doesn’t cut the.mustard.

          • theflew

            Those same web app/pages are available on a Win RT/8 devices. So that isn’t a chromebook advantage.

  • koenshaku

    I don’t know about you guys, but if you stroll into a best buy in USA, Chicago you will see a Goggle rep on the floor pushing these things I laughed at him when he tried to steer me towards one. They do a great job at promoting them that is for sure.

  • BoosterRooster

    If Chromebooks are so bad why is MS wasting time and money attacking them ??? I have one and contrary to MS FUD I can do loads offline. MS is clearly scared. The days of spending hundreds of $$$ on trash MS licences is numbered

    • Ben A

      Bitch please just because Apple advertise competition against microsoft doesn’t mean they are scared, same goes for microsoft scribble ChromebooksChromebooks. So what, they are limited offline than ordinary operating system. Your point is invalid. Chromebooks are only getting share in notebooks, because the form factor is obsolete, just like netbooks too and PDA s. tablets, and phablets are crushing them and laptop always win over those notebooks and netbooks

      • BoosterRooster

        Typical MS fanboi, stuck in the old thick client paradigm with $$$$ licence costs, well I h0ave news for you dinosaurs the world is moving on, MS no longer rule the IT world, times are changing, you better adopt or get left behind. MS is now a tech follower, no longer a leader

  • SategB

    The one two punch of mobile and these paints a bloody picture for Microsoft. They both put significant downward pressure on legacy revenue streams. I will not be surprise with in 12-18 months we will start to hear talks of layoffs at MSFT if part have not already been sold off.

    Hold on kids it is going to get ugly for us MSFT supporters :(

    • Ben A

      What. Microsoft is fiancally healthy, they don’t have layoff yet. Don’t talk crap

      • SategB

        As stated: “…within 12-18 months…”.

        Please don’t confuse your inability to comprehend with my ability to register a salient point.

  • first name

    I didn’t see too many people buying these during yesterday’s Boxing Day sale. Believe it or not, they seemed far more interested in tablets like the Surface RT and low price Windows laptops.

    • Ryan

      I was at Future Shop on Boxing Day and they didn’t even have stock of Chromebooks. They were all sold out two weeks before Christmas.

      They did have the 64GB Surface RT on sale ($150 off), but no one even looked at them while I was there. I even went back a week later to pick something else up, and hardly any had moved all week, despite being $150 off for the entire week.

  • freeman

    Chromebooks are not just notebooks or cheap laptops with chrome. The chromebook was another iPhone moment when Ballmer claim it wouldn’t get anymore than 3% market share. We remember the laughing on these forums and the release of the iPad and all the jokes that came with it,

    I a now on my second chromebook, sure its not a replacement for my my desktop but it has replaced my laptop. No viruses, instant on, low cost, long battery life. The OS doesn’t get bogged down and slower after a month. Ne need to wipe it after 6. Everything is synced to my desktop, phone and tablet in multiple locations. However the real battlefield is currently schools where they are sold along with google apps for education. No licenses for email servers, sharepoint, active directory, IIS. No domain controller or expensive administration. A chromebook with save a school over $1000 over three years over a windows laptop mostly in maintenance and administration. Many school districts are buying these by the 10’s of thousands.

    The real battlefield here is not chromebooks or laptops but the next generation productivity suite mindset. Via Google apps for education and chromebooks Google have Google Docs as the productivity suite in over 70% of the top US schools. 7 of the 8 ivy league schools already have gone Google. Outside the US entire countries like Malaysia by buying 1 million chrome books will save over $1 billion dollars over the next 3 years allowing them to roll out a 4g mobile network.. .

    • VHMP01

      Google Docs? Please compare Google Docs with ‘also free’ WebApps, not with Office, then start talking about licence savings. You can save even on (limited hardware) Netbooks and WebApps, there you go, which solution is cheaper and has real functionality? I mean, savings was your priority, wasn’t it?

      • freeman

        You may say that but the school districts buying these things by the 10’s of thousands would disagree.

        You clearly don’t understand what Google are selling these institutions. Its not just docs and a chromebook. Its everything out of the box in a way a teacher can administrate. Device management, user management, document management, test management. With a windows netbook with webapps you still need to manage user accounts, how would you do that active directory, that means a domain controller. You also need to manage updates, backup. What a hard drive becomes corrupt. These all require management. These are non issues with Google apps for education.

        • Mark Firemoon

          I would argue that what google are offering schools is detrimental to the children long term. Sure they lean the classic skills, but the students are insulated from technology to the point where they are not and do not have a requirement for understanding.

          • free2

            That’s a really interesting point I never heard anyone else make. Would you care to elaborate what understanding they would miss out on.

          • SategB

            Those who master classics skills will master any skills the desire too.

          • free2

            What are these classic skills?

          • SategB

            Reading, Writing, Arithmetic

          • free2

            I don’t see how a chrome book would be anymore different to any other platform in these regards. I think most platforms have quite useful tools for teaching these basic skills.

          • SategB

            I agree with you free2, the OP statement tried to make a convoluted point that basic skill was less important then some fictional “advance technology skill” that can not be learn on Chromebook.

  • falconrap

    IMHO what you are seeing are uninformed, bargain buyers. They are cheap. They “look” like they are capable notebooks. But, in the end, they are very limited. What the chart also shows is a near tripling of Windows tablet sales. With Win8 tablets hitting price levels comparable to Android tablets, it won’t be long before MS starts to dominate this area and starts turning things around. I have a feeling that we are going to see strong numbers for tablets like the Dell Venue 8 Pro. Why buy a limited Android tablet, or iPad, when you can get a full fledged Win8 PC for ~$200?

    When netbooks came out they flew out the door. But then sales slowed once people realized they were very slow and limited. Chromebooks will go through the same phase, especially with some very capable Win8 laptops getting down to the under $400 price range.

  • Rikkirik

    Are you telling me that Only 400000 Android tablets and Chromebooks we’re sold in almost all of 2012 in the USA??? And that only 1.7 million Android tablets and Chromebook we’re sold in 2013 in the USA??? This is surely not much to write home about. A tech writer recenty calculated that about 600.0000 Chromebook was sold in 2012 world wide, 0,0023% of the global market. This is nothing to be excited about.

  • Rikkirik

    I hope they made a destinction between those Chromebooks that Google gives away for free and those that are actually sold, because otherwise even these figures are widely overstated.

  • LexicoRed

    Anyone dismissing Chromebook is a lunatic. It’s no 1 & 2 on Amazon w/ almost *zero* Google marketing. Vs $1B in wasted MS dollars on Surface

  • Micah Dawson

    I am not quite sure the market for Chromebooks and I am surprised they are this popular….I was happy with my RT and since moved to a Pro.

  • eojj

    Scroogled! Time will tell if Chromebook will succeed. What everybody is saying here are all opinions and predictions. Some are based on facts. I will predict that Chromebooks will not succeed. I will print all your comments and opinions and file them so that we can look back at them later on to see whose opinions came true. Those who are proven wrong must examine themselves to be careful in what they are saying next time they form an opinion. This way you will be respected. Again my opinion and prediction is that we will be scroogled.

  • ThatGuy

    The truth is, the internet is literally everywhere now. It’s not the 1980’s anymore, and for the little parts of the world where there isn’t internet, most chromebooks come with LTE. The truth is, Microsoft needs to adapt to the new marketplace. The effects of them refusing to adapt have already been seen with the 900 million dollar write-off and the overall failure of the windows 8/8.1 devices. Chromebooks are making people realize that a 300-600 laptop isn’t needed for regular day-to-day use. This is the problem with Microsoft’s overall attempt at the PC marketplace. Microsoft has been too busy being the “Last defenders of the traditional PC.” They need to abandon that notion, or give up selling PCs as a whole.