Report claims just 500,000 Chromebooks sold in last two years

All the way back in December 2010, Google announced the first Chromebook. The Cr-48 was created not for sale, but as a showcase for its Chrome OS running on notebook hardware. A few months later, in May 2011, the first commercially available Chromebooks were announced by Asus and Samsung, before launching in June of that year, and since then, many more such devices have been launched. Most recently, Google announced its own high-end model, the Chromebook Pixel, featuring a high-resolution (2560x1700px) 12.85” touch screen and an eye-watering $1299 price tag.

Google touted Chromebooks as “a new kind of computer”, adding that the quick boot-up, lack of large, complex OS updates and excellent security made them superior to other computers. But have those marketing messages resonated with consumers?

According to Digitimes, the answer to that question is a resounding ‘no’. Citing sources within “Taiwan-based notebook ODMs and vendors”, the site claims that in the 21 months since the first Chromebooks went on sale, fewer than 500,000 units have been sold worldwide, equivalent to under one percent of the total notebook market.

As Google prepares to integrate Chrome OS and Android, the same sources suggest that those plans will take some time to make any impact on the market, pointing to the tiny market share as an indication that “compatibility and consumer usage habits” remain significant obstacles to the potential success of Chromebooks.

The accuracy of the report remains unclear, especially since it comes from the often-wrong Digitimes, so we should take it with a few pinches of salt – but even if the sales figure isn’t entirely accurate, it’s certainly easy to believe. But while Chromebook sales are unlikely to soar with the introduction of the Pixel, the recent announcements that both Lenovo and HP are launching their own Chromebooks will surely bring a welcome boost to the platform's growth.

Source: Digitimes | Image via Google

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I know someone at work who absolutely hates anything to do with computers, however he likes to browse the internet and do online banking. He told me he purchased the Chromebook as he wouldn't feel the need to buy a virus subscription each year, worry about security updates and liked the speed of the device.

I never thought to even recommend it to him if i'm honest, however he was looking at tablets and said an advert for one came up, he clicked it and was like "that's made for me".

I've randomly asked him how it is a couple of times and he absolutely loves it, it just goes to show there is a market for them, although for most people I agree it probably will be a little too basic.

InsaneNutter said,
I know someone at work who absolutely hates anything to do with computers, however he likes to browse the internet and do online banking. He told me he purchased the Chromebook as he wouldn't feel the need to buy a virus subscription each year, worry about security updates and liked the speed of the device.

I never thought to even recommend it to him if i'm honest, however he was looking at tablets and said an advert for one came up, he clicked it and was like "that's made for me".

I've randomly asked him how it is a couple of times and he absolutely loves it, it just goes to show there is a market for them, although for most people I agree it probably will be a little too basic.


I wonder what this guy whome you referring to does in your company, hate everything in computer but browsing the web

I love Google and Chrome and I hope Chrome OS improves and succeeds, but I also believe that half a million in sales is maybe correct. after all Chrome OS has a lot of limitations for developers, it has very nice API, but also a lot of limitations.

I hope once Chrome OS and Android are merged things to improve

I still think they have their place. But the pixel is way to expensive. Plus its not like Google has been doing ant advertising on the Chromebook and its uses and who would use it.

look at the online storage that comes with the Chromebook Pixel, it is a loot of storage free, the real cost of the free online storage is more than the ChromeBook price, in other words the Pixel is free.

i think 500,000 is way to many.. I love Chrome.. but that Chrome book is useless IMO.. Tablets offer a better experience and cheaper..

Almost nice to know there are "only" half a million die hard, but brain dead, Chrome lovers out there!!

They just HAD to have the full blown Chrome feel and not just a browser!

Probably because if you only need to browse the web, there are better form factors than full laptops with their bulk at typical laptop prices.

So, what people who think only numbers should think ? If Microsoft has to stop Surface cause of unexpected sells, Google should say goodbye to ChromeBook too, no ?

I love my Surface RT, I hate sells numbers.

I often use google to compare populatiry. So here is a popularity measure of the chromebook versus the often debated windows 8

"I love chromebook" : 118k hits
"I love windows 8": 2370k hits

"I hate chromebook" 10 hits
"I have windows 8" 317k hits

chromebook might not be popular, at least it is not hated enough to complain about it by over 1% of its users like windows 8

bitflusher said,
I often use google to compare populatiry. So here is a popularity measure of the chromebook versus the often debated windows 8

"I love chromebook" : 118k hits
"I love windows 8": 2370k hits

"I hate chromebook" 10 hits
"I have windows 8" 317k hits

chromebook might not be popular, at least it is not hated enough to complain about it by over 1% of its users like windows 8


edit: I expected the virtual shoutouts on windows 8 to be at least 15% (or even close to a Milion)

bitflusher said,
I often use google to compare populatiry. So here is a popularity measure of the chromebook versus the often debated windows 8

"I love chromebook" : 118k hits
"I love windows 8": 2370k hits

"I hate chromebook" 10 hits
"I have windows 8" 317k hits

chromebook might not be popular, at least it is not hated enough to complain about it by over 1% of its users like windows 8


What this shows is that more people are aware of Windows 8 than the Chromebook.

Its much much lesser than 1%.
There are around 90 million PC's being sold every quarter. For one quarter, 500,000 is less than 1%.
21 months means the market share will be very very less than 1%.

i own the CR-48 and it works for what i need when i need it and i can log in to my main PC from it so i dont find it useless i know a few who have a better model then the CR-48 i use and they love it for on the go and on vacation since 90% of the time they just do email and online browsing and word processing the other 10% they do is basic photo editing that they can now do on the chrombooks

But why should i buy a chromebook when same hardware and proper system costs the same? all those things could be done by a cheap android tablet or my smartphone too btw.

-adrian- said,
But why should i buy a chromebook when same hardware and proper system costs the same? all those things could be done by a cheap android tablet or my smartphone too btw.

Exactly. Plus if you love Linux you can download Ubuntu. Its for sure has a lot more features and capabilities.

you have not used it then in awhile since it is now more desktop then a browser it has much more offline mode stuff now and is becoming more desktop then just a browser

pjstachak said,
And 400,000 units were returned after people realized its only a browser.

Yah just like just like the 400k people that bought Surface only to realize it's not an iPad and returned it. I feel sorry for the poor souls that spent $1,000 on that garbage.

Chromebook is only $250 (ARM one I mean), and in this case its well worth the money.

notuptome2004 said,
you have not used it then in awhile since it is now more desktop then a browser it has much more offline mode stuff now and is becoming more desktop then just a browser

Soo now you can boot the thing on while offline. And then what... ? You just look at it ?

onionjuice said,

Yah just like just like the 400k people that bought Surface only to realize it's not an iPad and returned it. I feel sorry for the poor souls that spent $1,000 on that garbage.

Chromebook is only $250 (ARM one I mean), and in this case its well worth the money.

Not one person who bought a Surface would have confused it with an iPad. And you seem to be talking about the Surface Pro, which is actually useful, being as it's a full PC.

You're only sticking up for Chromebooks because you was stupid enough to pay for a web browser.

notuptome2004 said,
you have not used it then in awhile since it is now more desktop then a browser it has much more offline mode stuff now and is becoming more desktop then just a browser

Then let me ask you this: why not using Ubuntu and not pay Google? What is the advantage of using chrome book apart from its limitations.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,
Not one person who bought a Surface would have confused it with an iPad.

No, but many bought the Surface RT believing it to be able to run traditional Windows applications - that's one of the reasons it had a "very high" return rate.

Well it is Fast to boot tho i am sure if i put ubuntu on it it be fast to boot also but it is fast and works well even on the CR-48 i can play 1080p content on youtube and or netflix super HD if i plug it in to another monitor and it runs well and this all on a

Atom 1.6ghz dual threaded chip and 2GB of ram

Hardly surprising. Google hasn't been actively pushing Chromebooks and most people don't even know they exist. Also, just look at poorly the Surface has sold and that was backed by a multi-million of dollar advertising campaign.

The original article seems to quote sales numbers for chromebooks sold by Acer alone, and even then, doesn't cite any sources to back its claims.

Last night I watched TV for the first time in about a month. Saw 3 different Chromebook commercials. So Google is backing it with a multi-million $ campaign, and still only sold over 2 years a fraction of what Surface sold in a couple months.

theyarecomingforyou said
Also, just look at poorly the Surface has sold and that was backed by a multi-million of dollar advertising campaign.
Yeah, but that wasn't the only problem. The Surface didn't sell well for two reasons:

1 - Lack of quantity
2 - Lack of marketing
Ex: Lack of stores; advertising.