NPD claims Chromebook sales surge, but where’s the Chrome OS usage beef?

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A recent report by market research firm NPD indicates that sales of Chromebooks, the notebooks produced by Google, some of which were made in concert with big-name tech firms including Acer, Samsung and HP, have grabbed 9.6 percent of the laptop sales market between January and November of this year. That’s a significant jump of 9.4 percent, according to their findings. NPD also found that Chromebooks made up 21 percent of all notebook sales within the same time frame, and 8 percent of all sales of tablets and computers; an uptick from one tenth of a percent last year. Impressive numbers to be sure, but there’s something that doesn’t quite add up: Chrome OS web usage statistics don’t exactly reflect the strong sales that have been reported.

Chrome OS browser share simply does not match up with the strong Chromebook sales figures reported by NPD. According to a StatCounter spreadsheet, Chrome OS Internet traffic share was at 0.04 percent in January, February and April of this year. That number climbed ever so slightly to 0.05 percent in March, May and June. From there, the numbers rose as the year progressed, but still remained miniscule. Chrome OS web usage share rose to 0.07 percent in July and August, 0.08 percent in September, 0.09 percent in October and 0.11 percent in November. For whatever its worth, even at the peak number of 0.11 percent last month, more people used Linux (1.25 percent) within that time frame.

So, if Chromebook sales are so strong this year, assuming that StatCounter’s numbers are accurate, Chrome OS web traffic usage should also rise significantly. Yet, it’s barely past 0.10 percent. It’ll be interesting to see whether these numbers will spike considerably in the coming months, and whether strong Chromebook sales will continue to be reported as we march into 2014.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

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