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Google Desktops (Apple) Portables (Apple) United States Apple

Chromebooks Outsell Macs For the First Time In the US (theverge.com) 177

An anonymous reader shares a report on The Verge: Google's low-cost Chromebooks outsold Apple's range of Macs for the first time in the U.S. recently. IDC analyst Linn Huang confirmed the milestone to The Verge. "Chrome OS overtook Mac OS in the US in terms of shipments for the first time in 1Q16," says Huang. "Chromebooks are still largely a US K-12 story." IDC estimates Apple's U.S. Mac shipments to be around 1.76 million in the latest quarter, meaning Dell, HP, and Lenovo sold nearly 2 million Chromebooks in Q1 combined. Chromebooks have been extremely popular in US schools, and it's clear from IDC's comments the demand is driving US shipments. Outside of the US, it's still unclear exactly how well Google's low-cost laptops are doing. Most data from market research firms like IDC and Gartner focuses solely on Google's wins in the US.
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Chromebooks Outsell Macs For the First Time In the US

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  • by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 19, 2016 @11:25AM (#52141729)

    The low cost with touch screen tells me all the other laptops are extremely marked up. My only disappointment is the lack of apps for it. But for simple Google Docs work, it can't be beat for the dollar.

    • by captaindomon ( 870655 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @11:32AM (#52141799)
      Prices of products from large corporations that know what they are doing are not set based on cost+. They're set based on Willingness to Pay. Cost is only used to determine whether a market is viable for a product.
      • And small corporations, LLCs, proprietary businesses and even individuals auctioning off their baby shoes on ebay. In fact ebay is based off of selling thing for what the market is willing to bear. Craigslist too.
        • So pretty much everything, the exception being when Uncle Sam is buying something that blows brown people up. Or is supposed to, if it's not raining or if they're the other side of the international date line.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @11:59AM (#52142011)
      Chromebooks lack:
      • RAM. About 1-2 GB instead of 4 GB standard (although it's been crawling up).
      • Storage. Usually 16 GB of flash, instead of a 128+ GB SSD or 1+ TB HDD.
      • A powerful processor. Most are ARM-based, though a few used the Intel Atom line (which Intel recently killed off).
      • Windows.

      A large part of the higher price of laptops are due to the last two. Based on what ARM SoCs cost (about $5-$15), Intel's markup on its CPUs is several hundred dollars. And we all know what Windows costs. Those two markups come out to about $200-$300. Add in $35 for a HDD and that's pretty much the price difference between Chromebooks and low-end laptops.

      So no, laptops aren't marked up. Intel and Microsoft just make out like bandits from each laptop sale (just Intel for Macs).

      • RAM: you can get 4GB Chromebooks if you want them. The OS is light, so do you even need it? Storage: We all know Google's game plan here. The cloud. A powerful processor: See light OS. And most are not ARM based, most are Intel Celeron processors. Is Google subsidizing this?
        • RAM: you can get 4GB Chromebooks if you want them.

          Sure you can. And that adds about 25% to the price of the same model with 2GB.

      • Google's Pixel is an exception to that. I've got a Pixel2 at work with 16G ram and is running an i7. (I run xUbuntu on it rather than ChromeOs though).
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Intel didn't kill of the entire Atom line - just the low end (low margin) chips designed to go in phones.

    • Not to sound like a Mac Fanboy. But the difference may be between the quality of parts use not just the specs that the parts have.

      Back in the late 1990's during the Mhz race, Cheap PC's came out with Intel Pentium Centrino chips vs. the full Pentium chips. They were rated at the same Mhz, however their lower quality often created computers that barely functioned, or ran spastic.

      Apples biggest problem is lack of low end systems. Everything needs to be thin, shiny and appear state of the art. That level of

  • Makes Sense (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19, 2016 @11:27AM (#52141741)

    If all one needs to do is surf the Web, handle minor photo and video editing, then a Chromebook is ideal. A full-blown Mac is a complete waste of money. I'm in IT and manage everything from email servers to Wi-Fi, and now, thanks to modern computing and VPNs, can do everything from a Chromebook or actually, just any browser.

    I like Chromebook because they are simple, inexpensive, and are harbingers of what's to come--namely, all of our comings and goings will be on the Web.

    • I like Chromebook because they are simple, inexpensive, and are harbingers of what's to come--namely, all of our comings and goings will be on the Web.

      All your base are belong to us.

    • I like Chromebook because they are simple, inexpensive, and are harbingers of what's to come--namely, all of our comings and goings will be on the Web.

      IOW it's a Network Computer.

  • by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @11:34AM (#52141817)

    So.... Chromebooks are selling like gangbusters to a demographic that is very likely to smash their devices, and it's easier to replace a $200 computer than a $2000 one? Holy crap, stop the presses!

    Is it really so hard for Verge to maintain readership, that they need to do ridiculous name drops just to get attention?

    Want to know what I *really* want to see? School boards finally realizing that blindly throwing technology at a problem isn't going to result in better outcomes. First iPads, now Chromebooks. They continue to increase the burden of already razor thin IT staff, and I have yet to see one single study indicating that education quality and grades have improved.

    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @11:40AM (#52141873) Journal

      So.... Chromebooks are selling like gangbusters to a demographic that is very likely to smash their devices, and it's easier to replace a $200 computer than a $2000 one? Holy crap, stop the presses!

      I don't know if you're old enough to remember when Apple ruled the education market at all levels. I had the CFO of Apple tell me straight to my face that the "bite" out of the Apple logo represented their undying commitment to education.

      Now, they're committed to the hipster-at-Starbucks market who will soon run out of their parents' money to buy new Apple products.

      • I don't know if you're old enough to remember when Apple ruled the education market at all levels. I had the CFO of Apple tell me straight to my face that the "bite" out of the Apple logo represented their undying commitment to education.

        Then he (or you) made that up out of whole cloth.

        The Bite (byte) out of the Apple was originally to let people more easily recognize the image as an Apple, rather than a Cherry.

        Here's the REAL story [tribune.com.pk].

      • by Wovel ( 964431 )

        I don't know why this unnamed CFO for Apple lied to you. Was it Oppenheimer. He's so Zany.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19, 2016 @11:44AM (#52141907)

      I have spent several years as an IT guy in school districts. Chromebooks make sense for IT for several reasons:

      1. Replacing a Chromebook is trivial and inexpensive; there is no loss of data or backup worries.
      2. The malware worry is not there.
      3. Everything in modern schools is largely Web-based instruction or taught on SMART boards.
      4. Kids like them and are already Google savvy.

      • 5. They have a keyboard.

        My wife's a teacher. She showed me the garbage that the iPad crowd had to deal with. Her school over the past few years went from nothing to iPads for everyone, and now to small laptops (not Chromebooks) for everyone. The iPad generation were a group which made it through school without the ability to draw graphs, write equations, or create science assignments on their school funded device due to the simple lack of the ability to type anything accept a few characters and symbols.

        This

      • Downside is, you can only use web apps. Suppose a kid wants to use the excellent Krita and learn some real painting skills, just to name one.

        • Downside is, you can only use web apps. Suppose a kid wants to use the excellent Krita and learn some real painting skills, just to name one.

          https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/sumo-paint/dpgjihldbpodlmnjolekemlfbcajnmod?hl=en

          Disclaimer, I haven't used it, and it's been a while since I use Krita, so I'm not sure I could accurately compare if I had. The feature list looks pretty impressive. But the point is there's no reason you can't have a perfectly-functional Chrome app for painting. This is just the first hit on a search for "web painting app". There are others.

      • by Jim Hall ( 2985 )

        I have spent several years as an IT guy in school districts. Chromebooks make sense for IT for several reasons:

        If I had mod points, I would +1 you.

        I worked in higher ed for 17 years (I recently moved to a new career path) and over the last several years we were starting to deploy more Chromebooks to users. We were a Google Apps for Education campus. Chromebooks just made a lot of sense. I didn't have to worry about the device getting lost or stolen. The device is encrypted by user - but there's a limited opportunity to download stuff to the Chromebook anyway. By default, everything runs in "The Cloud."

        Most of our st

    • by GezusK ( 449864 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @12:03PM (#52142035)

      A neighboring school system, with more money than sense, did go all MacBook Airs. They are now getting rid of them, and going the Chromebook route. Easier to manage, no malware, and cheaper to replace.

      We see them as just another tool. No different than a textbook or other material. They provide access to resources. It's still up to the teachers to use the tools they're given in the most effective way.

      • Yeah.... makes perfect sense. One thing even my own daughter noticed in middle school though is, all Chromebooks are far from equal. One district she attended school in for a while had really flimsy, cheap Chromebooks that were often breaking down. Another had very nice, solid feeling variants. The main difference between those districts was the tax base in each. The wealthier district had the higher-end Chromebooks in use.

        With a Macbook Air, at least you know pretty much what you're getting. Very arguabl

    • So.... Chromebooks are selling like gangbusters to a demographic that is very likely to smash their devices, and it's easier to replace a $200 computer than a $2000 one? Holy crap, stop the presses!

      Is it really so hard for Verge to maintain readership, that they need to do ridiculous name drops just to get attention?

      Want to know what I *really* want to see? School boards finally realizing that blindly throwing technology at a problem isn't going to result in better outcomes. First iPads, now Chromebooks. They continue to increase the burden of already razor thin IT staff, and I have yet to see one single study indicating that education quality and grades have improved.

      The criteria for selection isn't just cheap and replaceable. The basic required functionality needs to be there, and the cost and ease of implementation of the system needs to be considered as well. I-Pads were a ridiculous choice from the start, but populism took hold in some places before reason did.

      My kids use Chromebooks at school. They don't enhance the basic educational foundation, but they are useful tools to help implement it. They use them for research, making presentations, turning in some home

    • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @12:06PM (#52142059) Journal

      First iPads, now Chromebooks. They continue to increase the burden of already razor thin IT staff, and I have yet to see one single study indicating that education quality and grades have improved.

      Actually, going from iPads to Chromebooks is an excellent way to decrease the burden on IT - the entire environment on the Chromebook is set and maintained online, and everyone gets his or hers based on their credentials. A Chromebook is a smart terminal par excellance.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @12:24PM (#52142149)
      After all the attempts to include tablets in PC sales figures to bolster Apple's standing, I figure turnabout is fair play. Having helped set up my nephew's Chromebook (sis wanted parental controls), aside from the inability to run generic apps I'd say it's more PC-like than a tablet. The physical keyboard goes a long way, and most people spend their computer time in a browser anyway.

      The iPads in education were probably a kickback scam. The Chromebooks actually seem useful. A part of my nephew's homework is found online (I suppose it could be made into an interactive program, but a website allows easier control of distribution and updates). More work for IT, a lot less work for teachers and parents. They cost about 1/3 to 1/2 what an iPad does. And the lack of a store discourages kids from trying to hack it to install Angry Birds. Course they can browse to all sorts of websites (Google needs to improve the parental controls - you can eventually restrict it, but the process isn't trivial), but they can also do that on a tablet's browser.

      If you think about it, Chromebooks have more or less accomplished what OLPC set out to do - driven the price of a production computer through the floor so that even people in developing countries could afford one. OLPC's actual production cost was about $490 each. (And please, no ranting about 16 GB of flash being "limiting." My first computer had 32 kB of RAM, my first laptop had a 20 MB HDD. 16 GB is enormous. OLPC only had 4-8 GB of flash storage. A compressed version of Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] is 12 GB.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      As a member of a razor-thin IT staff in a public K-12 US school district, we love Chromebooks; they are dead simple to manage, easy to use and inexpensive (even with a 3-year warranty). Do they improve quality of education and grades? Probably no more or less than a good pen and paper. It's just another way to get thoughts down and presentable to the teachers.
      • by tibit ( 1762298 )

        You have your head firmly on your shoulders, what on Earth are you doing here? :)

        But seriously, as much as I like Apple devices, the remote management on OS X isn't all there, iOS without a keyboard is limiting, and an integrated Google ecosystem helps. These could have been some Windows RT devices, too, with an Azure-based domain, but IMHO MS's online management tools are clunkier than Google's.

    • I've seen lots of studies saying exactly that. I've also seen some that say the have no effect. Most of the studies that say they are helping say they increase student engagement which normally helps with attendance and test scores. As far as IT staff. Chromebooks are easy, they are all managed centrally from a website. iPads aren't bad and can be manged through special software centrally. The biggest problem is its a lot more devices with the same number of people or less.
    • Microsoft laughed at them too, I distinctly remember Balmer saying something like this is a product with no market.

      And please don't forget one of the prime tenets of computing in schools. When kids grow up they will use the computers and software they grew up using. It's the reason both Microsoft and Apple (this was a major apple philosophy) practically gave their products away to schools.

      I urge you to keep laughing at Chromebooks, in 20 years when 1 of every 2 laptops is a Chromebook you can have a good so

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19, 2016 @11:38AM (#52141859)

    They are cheap as hell, last forever on their batteries, and for end-users are effectively immune to malware, adware, and all the other horrible shit that makes your grandmother unable that piece of shit windows laptop. (And it's always a piece of shit windows laptop. What is it about grandmothers and their abilty to buy the very worst laptop ever made?)

    And when you have physical access it's easy to put them in developer mode (Which will securely wipe any existing userdata, by design). Then you can get a root shell and install whatever OSS toys you want.

    • They are cheap as hell, last forever on their batteries, and for end-users are effectively immune to malware, adware, and privacy .

      FTFY.

      After all, what do students or grandmothers need with privacy, anyway, right?
  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday May 19, 2016 @11:50AM (#52141943) Homepage
    that common users do not want to be administrators. They dont want to think about patches or updates, or antivirus. They just want to open the product, and consume their services.

    its great for sysadmins...we'll always have a job. However its a killing stroke for corporations and plutocrats hoping the "learn to code" effort is going to help drive the cost of developers or sysops down. You've spent 50 years getting Americans to consider technology a product. things like DMCA and closed-door trade agreements have all but cemented the notion that the consumer is a mindless cash cow, not to be permitted to touch the technology unless theyre to part with their identity or money. this mindset isnt about to change.
  • Kids wanted "iPads". I bought 'em $70-ish Android tablets instead. When they break? So what - buy another. Plus any app you'd want to use is probably free, and you don't even have to hook a credit card up to your account to access the Android app store, which is especially nice because it prevents people from making "in-app purchases". (The family uses probably eight Android devices at the moment, and I think the only app anyone's ever bought was the one time my son wanted a full copy of Minecraft on
  • Currently, my mom doesn't have a computer. She's happy to have me do any online stuff that she wants done. But if she ever decides she wants her own computer, I would NOT recommend a Windows box, or even a Mac. I suspect she'd be more comfortable with a keyboard than a touchscreen, so that means a Chromebook. Easier for her than a Windows machine, and MUCH easier for me to support.

  • pardon the pun. But a Chromebook is nothing near a Macbook. Chromebooks have very little in the way of memory and storage. The $200 versions have terrible screens. The utility, when not connected to the internet, is quite limited. The Macbook is a full fledged workstation.

    I'm not saying that it's a bad choice for schools who are putting them in the hands of teenagers that have yet to develop, shall we say, a sense of responsibility.

    Probably a fairer comparison would be to the Surface but even then the Surfa

    • pardon the pun. But a Chromebook is nothing near a Macbook. Chromebooks have very little in the way of memory and storage. The $200 versions have terrible screens. The utility, when not connected to the internet, is quite limited. The Macbook is a full fledged workstation.

      I'm not saying that it's a bad choice for schools who are putting them in the hands of teenagers that have yet to develop, shall we say, a sense of responsibility.

      Probably a fairer comparison would be to the Surface but even then the Surface has a lot more going for it than a Chromebook. The Chromebook is a low end internet appliance. For very basic tasks its great. Which is to say, for most students it is just fine. But to compare a Chromebook to a Macbook is like comparing a Chevy to a Ferrari.

      It's a Netbook. Nothing more; somewhat less, actually.

    • They are very different beasts and the move from one to the other can show a wider consumer trend, just like how there are very few feature phones on the market these days. The rise of the low-end and drop of the high end when purchasing trends are considered across a common demographic is indeed an apples to apples comparison. It is quite believable that Chromebooks are directly offsetting the Macbook figures, especially when you consider that few people every actually needed the power of a Macbook pro, an

  • It's okay. It's all balanced because elsewhere for the first time, apples are outselling oranges.
  • It's not the first time. We had this discussion years ago...

    In 2013...

    http://www.ibtimes.com/googles... [ibtimes.com]

    A year later they outsell the iPad in schools...

    http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

  • Web printing sucks. When Google finally puts out a Chrome OS with local USB printing, without having to go through the web and back again, the product will find a larger audience. Windows 10 has pissed off enough people to open up their minds to using Chromebooks as long as they don't need to also buy another printer. People are weird that way.
  • As a former IT Tech, buying a Chromebook for my wife was one of the most liberating experiences ever. Not to mention she loves it for the simplicity too.

  • ...doesn't mean Mercedes is in danger.

  • I would have thought this would be the case years ago, give the price disparity.

  • As I've discovered recently, there really is no better alternative for the educational market, and certainly not for middle school. Those kids are merciless when it comes to hardware and software, and they will most certainly fuck it up even if it's locked down tight. To give you an example, my kid has found a bug in Windows 7 whereby you could make Windows treat _any_ file (even *.exe) as if it was a text file and open it in Notepad. Laptop was locked down with administrative policy, so this is not somethi

  • Wow amazing a $199 product outsells a $999 to $1499 product?

    ZOMG Apple is DYING!

    Tomorrow on Slashdot, The Honda Civic is the worlds best Sports car because it outsells alone every single Ferrari model made.

  • For ages, there have been less problems with malware on Macs than on Windows PCs.

    For ages, one main excuse for this has been "more people use Windows, so it's naturally a bigger target". Technical arguments about vulnerability are dismissed by people who make this argument.

    OK, so now in Chromebook we have a new malware target which may be both bigger than the Mac market AND theoretically less vulnerable.

    This could be amusing...

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