Google this week announced a second generation Chromebook model from Samsung, the Series 5 550, which dispenses with the previous generation Chromebook's Atom N570 processor and replaces it with a dual-core Celeron B867 chip sporting Sandy Bridge DNA. That's well and good if you're into Chromebooks, except that companies like Asus and HTC aren't tripping over themselves trying to launch second generation Chromebook models of their own.
Just the opposite, actually. Citing sources entrenched in the upstream supply chain, DigiTimes claims both Asus and HTC have backed off of plans to cooperate with Google in launching their own brand Chromebooks. The reason has nothing to do with Chrome OS specifically and everything to do with lackluster sales. According to DigiTimes, Samsung and Acer never managed to crack 200,000 (each) first generation Chromebook sales.
Is Chrome OS and the concept of cloud computing to blame? It's tough to say. First generation Chromebook devices didn't come out of the gate with particularly tantalizing hardware, in part because the platform relies so heavily on the cloud, but they also saw intense competition from the then-booming netbook sector. Now that netbooks are almost out of the picture, Chromebooks may have a better shot at finding buyers who aren't willing to step up a more expensive Ultrabook model.