Gartner Predicts 5.2 Million Chromebook Sales in 2014

Paul Lilly

Chromebooks are big in the education sector

We've pointed out before how Chromebooks are some of the best selling laptops on Amazon, and though these cloud-based systems aren't as capable as their Windows-based counterparts, they've having no trouble finding an audience, particularly in education circles. In fact, market research firm Gartner forecasts 5.2 million Chromebook sales by the end of the year , which would translate into a 79 percent jump compared to 2013.

That's just the tip of the cloud -- by 2017, Gartner sees Chromebook sales tripling to 14.4 million units. Not too shabby for what some power users a glorified web browsing machine, though to be fair, Chromebooks are capable of much more than just surfing the Internet.

"Competition in the Chromebook market is intensifying as more vendors launch Chromebooks, with eight models in the market in 2014," said Isabelle Durand , principal analyst at Gartner. "Now that the PC market is no longer growing strongly, vendors are searching for new business opportunities. They launched Chromebooks to revive interest in sub-$300 portable PCs once the netbook bubble had burst."

Unlike netbooks, however, Chromebooks are most predominate in the education sector, which accounted for nearly 85 percent of Chromebook sales last year. And of the 2.9 million Chromebooks sold during 2013, 82 percent were sold in North America, Gartner says.

Despite just 15 percent of Chromebooks sold in 2013 landing outside the education sector, Gartner insists they will carve out a place in businesses for specific workers, such as staff in banking, hotel receptions, and so forth.

"So far, businesses have looked at Chromebooks, but not bought many," Durand added. "By adopting Chromebooks and cloud computing, businesses can benefit; they can shift their focus from managing devices to managing something much more important — their data."

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