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Chromebooks, Windows tablets overtake MacBooks in US commercial sales

updated 09:58 am EST, Mon December 30, 2013

Windows notebooks, iPads remain bestsellers

Chromebooks surged ahead in 2013 to become a major player in US commercial computer sales, according to new NPD data. Between January and November of this year, some 14.4 million desktops, laptops, and tablets were sold. Of these about 9.6 percent were Chromebooks; in 2012, by contrast, the platform represented just 0.2 percent of sales. Companies are presumably choosing Chromebooks because of their laptop-style features and their cost, which can be as little as $199, cheaper even than many low-end tablets.

The gains helped Chromebooks trounce MacBooks -- which slipped from 2.6 to 1.8 percent year-over-year -- as well as Android tablets, even though they leapt ahead from 4.2 to 8.7 percent. Windows tablets are also beyond MacBooks, having risen from 0.8 percent to 2.2.

Windows notebooks remained in control of the commercial market, despite having fallen from 42.9 percent to 34.1 percent. The iPad was the dominant tablet, but in ceding some share to Android and Windows, shrank from 17.1 percent to 15.8.

In terms of individual companies, HP was the leading commercial supplier, with a 30.4 percent marketshare -- albeit down from 36.4 percent in 2012. Lenovo dipped from 23.6 to 23.3 percent, while Apple declined from 17.9 to 16.1. Samsung, previously marginal at 1.7 percent, rose dramatically to take a 10 percent share.

by MacNN Staff



  1. cljmac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-23-05

    i work in retail.... i have seen 15+ returned in the last week. my store sold like 75 in december. we have about a 35% return rate on chrome books. we sold 250+ macs with about 7% return rate. i would love to know where they get their numbers.

  1. b9bot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-22-08

    Yea like that's a fair comparison of product sales. Chromebook is a cheap internet terminal that is totally useless if not connected to the internet. And even when connected the limitations are endless. You can't even compare these toys to real laptops like the Macbook or Macbook Pro. And even if combined they did out sell Apple's Macbook line they probably lost money compared to Apple which made money. The lack of facts and basing this story only on big numbers is laughable at best. This ongoing B.S. trying to paint Apple in a bad light is pure FUD at best.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    People that I know have no idea what Chromebook CAN'T do. All they see is ..... oh. cheap laptop.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-16-05

    You get what you pay for.
    And it seems there is a direct relationship between price and how long it serves you too.

  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Chromebooks are the new Netbooks. Wipe ChromeOS and install Ubuntu. Affordable and gets the job done.

  1. Jeff75

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 09-15-00

    "commercial channel" is businesses, schools, government and other organizations. This is NOT general consumer sales.

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-16-00

    A bunch of these folks are going to have a rude awakening when they discover the unit is completely useless when they're out of range of a WiFi connection.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    Originally Posted by mytdaveView Post

    A bunch of these folks are going to have a rude awakening when they discover the unit is completely useless when they're out of range of a WiFi connection.

    Yes, Steve Ballmer says "Don't get Scroogled".

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I'm a little skeptical of these numbers. I'm sure the Chromebooks are doing well at that price point ... though I think consumers ARE seriously under-educated about their limitations ... (but hey, they'll learn). Those Android and Windows tablet numbers, at the very least though, are based on nothing. No manufacturer releases actual end-user sales figures except Apple, so their conclusions are drawn from "shipment" data, which we already know is not an accurate measure of actual sales.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-05-11

    Hey wrenchy! Good to read you here, got your Christmas card - and left some good wishes of my own that I would like to extend into the new year just around the corner... May you witness the conversion of as many iNatics as you can into mature Droid users (and hopefully Ubuntu Phone soon...)! Your loving sock puppet Arne!

  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by mytdaveView Post

    A bunch of these folks are going to have a rude awakening when they discover the unit is completely useless when they're out of range of a WiFi connection.

    Have you even used a Chromebook recently?

    Do you think ChromeOS just "shuts down" when you don't have network connectivity?

    Does your iPhone turn off when you are outside of 3G/4G coverage? LOL...

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