Although the figure is very small in context of the overall market of PCs, it is illustrative of the way in which traditional computing tasks can be carried out by dedicated devices, says Horace Dediu, who runs Asymco Consultancy.
Monolithic PC is getting carved up into jobs that can be done better by other objects. Nowadays, computing refers to individual tasks which can be done better by a combination of product/server rather than forcing a PC to do it.
Chromebooks run on Linux and have the cloud services of Google, with minimal local storage. In effect, browser-based operating system is offered around the Chrome browser.
In the US education market, the iPad of Apple is being rivaled for educational sales, due to it having comparable prices, strong remote administration functionality and built-in physical keyboards. The Apple and Windows PCs have lost sales owing to these rival devices.
As per Gartner, around 2.9m Chromebooks were sold in the year 2013 out of which 2.4m were sold in North America.
It is also forecasted that a tripling of sales will be seen by the year 2017, to 14.4m units in comparison to the overall PC market which would remain static at 320m units all across the globe. The principal PC Analyst of Gartner, Isabelle Durand says that there is a rapid growth in the no. of Chromebooks on offer. Now, growth is no longer seen in the PC market and new business opportunities are being sought by the vendors.
Chromebooks were launched for reviving interest in sub-$300 portable PCs after the netbook bubble had burst. However, she said that it would expand to areas like hotel receptionists, estate agents, financial services and banking too.
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