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Google’s Chromebooks Dominate Back-to-School Shopping, While Apple Lags

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 5:49
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ChromebookGoogle parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has decisively won the back-to-school laptop shopping wars, betaing out Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with its low-priced Chromebook lineup.

Apple’s PCs, which are in dire need of a upgrade, saw a 13% sales decline in the third quarter, according to market research firms International Data Corp. and Gartner Inc., which released their tabulations on Tuesday.

In contrast, Google-powered Chromebooks likely saw significant sales growth. Overall PC sales fell 5.7% in Q3, but when including Chromebooks in the figures, the decline was a much smaller 3.9%.

Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa commented, “While our PC shipment report does not include Chromebooks, our early indicator shows that Chromebooks exceeded PC shipment growth.”

Chromebooks, which are manufactured by third parties but run Google’s lightweight web-focused ChromeOS, are typically low-cost devices that still boot up and run fast due to the simplicity of their operating system. They are essentially web terminals — users don’t need to “install” any software, as just about everything runs through a web browser.

At a fraction of the cost of Apple’s expensive hardware, consumers are clearly flocking to Chromebooks. This trend will no doubt continue to pressure Apple to update its devices and give users a new reason to come back to Mac.


Alphabet shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Wednesday at $809.47. Year-to-date, GOOGL has risen 4.06%, roughly in-line with the benchmark S&P 500’s 4.69% gain in the same period.

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