Chromebook sales are rising, fueled predominantly by the North American education sector, but despite some increase in sales the Google OS-powered laptops will remain a niche market for next five years, according to analyst Gartner.
The analyst identifies the key challenge to uptake being vendors coming up with ways to illuminate how the machine’s cloud-based architecture can offer users an advantage over laptops that aren’t designed to be always online. So really Chromebooks need some killer apps to prove their worth — above and beyond being ad terminals for Mountain View.
Putting out its latest Chromebooks forecast, entitled Competitive Landscape: Chromebooks, Worldwide, Gartner said it expects sales of the Internet-connected laptops which run Google’s Chrome OS to reach 5.2 million units this year — up 79 per cent on last year’s sales. By 2017 it’s predicting sales of Chromebooks will almost triple to reach 14.4 million units.
For some relative context, last month Gartner said it expects a total of 308 million PCs to ship this year (which includes laptops, desktops, ultramobiles and hybrids), along with 256 million tablets. So Chromebooks remain a drop in the devices ocean.