Research Shows Chromebooks Doing Very Well in the Education Market

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 24, 2014

For more than a year now, sales have been downright dreary for PCs and PC equipment makers, but new-generation Chromebooks running Google's Chrome OS platform have shown signs of bucking the trend. Late last year, there were many reports that Chromebooks were not selling well at all. For example, a ZDNet column cited some IDC research that apparently showed Chromebooks struggling.

As we've noted multiple times, though, Chromebooks are finding a home in the education market, thanks to their low prices and their reliance on free applications and resources that reside in the cloud. Now, fresh data is out showing that Chromebooks represent nearly a fifth of all portable computer sales to schools. That's nothing to shake a stick at. 

The Wall Street Journal has reported on some of the new market research on Chromebooks in the education market:

"The inexpensive laptops, which run Gooble software but are mostly sold by other companies, accounted for 19% of the K-12 market for mobile computers in the U.S. in 2013, according to a preliminary estimate by Futuresource Consulting...Data from IDC analyst Rajani Singh that includes purchases by U.S. colleges and universities as well as K-12 schools shows a similar pattern."

What's significant about these numbers is that FutureSource and others have also reported that Chromebooks represented less than one percent of the portable computer market in 2012. They are finding their stride, especially in schools.

As just a few examples, Westwood High School in Massachussetts is buying Chromebooks to issue to students who will return them once they graduate. The Bell-Chatham school board has approved Chromebook purchases for students, as has the Sumner School District.

Just recently, a bunch of big hardware makers have either delivered Chromebooks or announced plans to deliver them. HP, Lenovo, Acer and Samsung are among vendors with sub-$300 Chromebooks. And, I've made the point that we are likely to see increasing incentives from Google for purchases of Chromebooks.  Google has already explored this avenue.  For example, buyers of Chromebooks have been getting 100GB of free Google Drive storage, free WiFi when flying, Google Play incentives and more.  Next up, we're likely to see incentives from Google aimed directly at schools.