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Chromebooks sales soar past MacBooks for the first time ever, according to analyst

Acer Chromebook R11
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Who’d have thought it? Chromebooks have eclipsed the MacBook in sales for the very first time this last quarter. While we don’t have hard numbers, estimations peg Apple MacBook sales throughout the U.S. over the three months ending April, as around 1.76 million. That suggests various manufacturers may have shipped out close to two million Chromebooks.

As with sales of iOS vs Android smartphones, we do need to remember that only Apple makes its MacBooks, whereas with Chromebooks you have the biggest PC sellers in the world pushing different models. There’s Dell, HP, Lenovo and others, all with their own Chromebook designs.

But this is still the first time that that collective has managed to outshine Apple’s efforts.

Of course, it would be nice to have some hard numbers on this, as it would go a long way to explaining what may have caused such a shift and which firms have really benefited from increased Chromebook uptake. That said, the International Data Corporation (IDC) did confirm all of this to The Verge.

It also said that the largest reason it could see for the increased Chromebook shipments, was because of schools, calling it a “U.S. K-12 story.” Indeed Chromebooks have proved very popular with schools, most likely because of their low cost in comparison to Apple’s MacBook, and relative simplicity compared to Microsoft’s Windows.

However, as some have commented, it may be that Chromebooks don’t stop with stealing the crown from Apple. Microsoft’s biggest hardware developments in recent years have come from the mid-low-cost laptop and two-in-one markets, with its Surface line doing particularly well. If Chromebooks begin to tap into those that are really looking for a more functional laptop than one with tablet functions, that could prove problematic for Microsoft.

Indeed it will be interesting to see how every company responds to this news. We may get some doubling down of Chromebook efforts by manufacturers and Apple and Microsoft may feel the need to respond with market shifts of their own, whether with regards to the hardware offered or pricing.

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