Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google’s Chromebooks have finally outdone Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Mac laptops in terms of sales. For the first time, Google has shipped more laptops in a quarter than Apple.
According to the International Data Corporation, US shipments of laptops running Google’s Chrome OS are estimated to be at 2 million for the first quarter of this year. This number is a combination of all laptops made by laptop manufacturers Dell Inc, HP Inc (NYSE:HPQ) and Lenovo. On the other hand, Apple has shipped around 1.76 million units, which is already a combination of their laptops and desktops shipments. However, data regarding shipments of Chromebooks outside the US are unavailable. Thus, it is not possible to conclude how well they are doing worldwide.
The Chromebooks’ success can be largely credited to their huge popularity in K-12 schools. Analysts have cited two reasons why they have been doing so well. First, laptops running the Chrome OS are more affordable, with prices starting at only $85. Second, they have proven to be conducive for usage in schools since they are cloud-based and are made to run web-based applications. It stays true to its concept of portability by having everything in the cloud. There is virtually no danger of losing data. It also stays true to its concept of simplicity by running only on minimal specifications since it is essentially a web-browser with a few more additional features.
Although Apple has been beaten by Google, they can still afford not to be worried right now. They have consistently improved their sales despite the overall decline in PC sales.
According to analysts, it should be Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) who should be worried. Google’s increasingly better performance is a threat to Microsoft’s share in the US market. This has already manifested in the K-12 arena where Chromebooks have made up for around 50% of US shipments. Apple has seen its share go down on this front from 35% to 25% while Windows went down from 25% to 22. With Google set to integrate Android’s smartphone operating system to its Chrome OS, Windows 10 may also be in big trouble.
IDC’s report further states that for the first quarter of 2016, worldwide PC shipments experienced a year-on-year decline of 11.5%. Shipments to the US also went down by 5.8%, from 14.4 million units in the first quarter of 2015 to 13.6 million units for the same period this year.