Google Chromebooks Outsell Apple Macbooks In 2013: Report
December 30, 2013

Google Chromebooks Outsell Apple Macbooks In 2013: Report

Enid Burns for - Your Universe Online

Computing devices such as desktops, notebooks and tablets experienced double digit sales growth in 2013, according to the Distributor Track and Commercial Reseller Tracking Service report released by the NPD Group. From January to November 2013 14.4 million computing devices were sold, a 25.4 percent increase over the same period in 2012.

Chromebooks experienced a sales burst in 2013, accounting for 21 percent of all notebook sales and 8 percent of all computer and tablet sales. Combined tablet and Chromebook sales reached 1.76 million units from January through November. The year before the category hit 400,000 units sold. The rise in Chromebooks sales is dramatic when compared to its one-tenth-of-a-percent share of sales in 2012.

The established desktop category increased by 8.5 percent; notebooks grew 28.9 percent; and tablet sales increased to 49 percent growth, when compared to sales in 2012. While notebooks increased in sales, Windows notebooks showed no growth over sales from the previous year, though Windows desktops increased by close to 10 percent.

“Tepid Windows PC sales allowed brands with a focus on alternative form factors or operating systems, like Apple and Samsung, to capture significant share of a market traditionally dominated by Windows devices,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis, NPD, in a statement from the research firm. “Yet the Windows PC in commercial channels is clearly not dead, and its biggest brand proponents, HP and Lenovo, remain deeply committed to that product. However, as businesses upgrade from older machines and operating systems in the year ahead, the long-term trend is clearly towards greater hardware diversity, which all manufacturers will need to embrace in order to continue to grow.”

Apple sales experienced a decline in 2013, with Apple notebooks and desktops combined dropping 7 percent.

Tablets accounted for 22 percent of all personal computing device sales for 2013. Windows tablet sales nearly tripled and Android tablet sales increased by over 160 percent. Apple iPad sales accounted for 59 percent of sales in the tablet category.

“The market for personal computing devices in commercial markets continues to shift and change,” said Baker. “New products like Chromebooks, and reimagined items like Windows tablets, are now supplementing the revitalization that iPads started in personal computing devices. It is no accident that we are seeing the fruits of this change in the commercial markets as business and institutional buyers exploit the flexibility inherent in the new range of choices now open to them.”

PC manufacturers such as HP and Lenovo benefit from the revitalization of Windows machines. Though alternatives, such as tablets, continue to chip away at the market.

"HP led commercial personal computing devices; but even with a 6 percent increase in total notebook sales its small exposure to booming tablet market drove its share down. Lenovo remained the second largest channel vendor with notebook sales up almost 18 percent and, desktops up 30 percent. Even with strong tablet growth of over 200 percent Lenovo’s overall unit share remained flat as it too suffered from a lack of presence in the tablet segment. Apple’s dominant position in the tablet market which accounted for more than 80 percent of its commercial sales made it the third largest brand. Samsung, as a result of its rapid expansion of Chromebook and Android tablet sales, was ranked number four," NPD said in its report.