It’s not exactly Google’s style to publicly gloat about sales records set by its devices. Generally, the search giant leaves the numbers game to market research analysts from firms like ABI, IDC, and Gartner.
But the findings in an upcoming IDC report apparently excited Google so much that it just needed to openly celebrate. So the company did, posting on its official blog about how Chromebooks are now the best-selling devices in U.S. K-12 schools.
Google didn’t go into heavy detail, and IDC’s report isn’t public yet. However, IDC researcher Rajani Singh shared some of the specifics with edSurge, which tracks developments in “education technology.” Apparently, 713,000 Chromebooks were shipped to American K-12 institutions during Q3 2014.
That’s an average of nearly 250,000 units per month between July and September.
A series of extremely smart moves from Google and its hardware-making partners are designed to further boost the family’s popularity, both in schools, and in the mainstream PC scene as a whole. For instance, students in 12 U.S. universities can now borrow Chromebooks for days with no charge.
Once they’re hooked, they’re unlikely to abandon the simplistic, inexpensive notebooks, which can be had for as low as $200. Meanwhile, Lenovo is said to be eyeing even lower prices for its upcoming Chromebooks, which will only make them more enticing to budget-conscious buyers.
Let’s not forget that battery life-boosting Intel Core M-powered Chromebooks could be coming as well. Energy efficiency, which is already one of the platform’s stronger suits, should be heavily improved as a result. If education-focused Chromebooks continue to grow in popularity in the near future, Acer, Samsung, and HP are likely to have the most to gain.
According to IDC’s Rajani Singh, Acer pushed 240,000 Chrome OS laptops to K-12 schools in Q3, Samsung shipped 174,000 units, and HP was third, with 127,000 units sold. Not bad for a market that didn’t exist back in 2011.
Where are Chromebooks headed from here? For now, we can only speculate. Clearly, the future is bright for the inexpensive, Web-centric machines.
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