Chromebook sales keep surging, but remain a blip on Microsoft’s radar

Samsung Chromebook 2 XE500C12-K01US review texture logo

It’s no big secret that Chromebook sales are on an impressive rise. You know it, we know it, Microsoft knows it, and the tech giant has been acting accordingly. Just how good are Chrome OS laptops doing lately? A new report from ABI Research’s latest market audit gives us an idea.

According to the reputable research firm, Chromebook shipments have increased by 67 percent quarter-on-quarter. In layman’s terms, the numbers for the July-September three-month period are higher than those for April-June by two thirds.

Clearly, Google’s focus on education in general, and students in particular, is paying off. However, back to school season popularity is merely the tip of the iceberg. Chromebook sales for the whole of 2014 are projected to hit 4.1 million units, which would be nearly double over last year’s figures.

Granted, 4.1 million is a drop in a Windows-dominated ocean. Still, growth in a stagnant sector is no small feat.

Chromebooks are expected to continue their ascent to mainstream fame in the next few years, particularly in Asia-Pacific and Western Europe. Currently, North America is the biggest fan of the low-cost, Web-centric machines. ABI predicts that sales on our continent will make up for 78 percent of worldwide transactions involving Chromebooks in 2014.

Business-purchasing entities are reportedly Google’s main customers. That may not be the only sector with significant interest though. In the short term, the growth could linger after Samsung decided to retire all its laptops in Europe.

“Chromebooks may have more of a place in the market than originally anticipated,” ABI Resaerch Analyst Stephanie Van Vactor says.

But as “more vendors jump on board” as Vactor notes, the long-haul prospects for Chromebooks are fairly rosy. In the last quarter, Acer snatched the gold medal in the Chromebook market, followed by Samsung, and HP.