Google’s Chromebooks Take a Bite out of Apple

Google’s Chromebooks beat Mac’s iOS…it’s now confirmed with stats.

At least in sales, that is. Google has been focusing on their Chromebooks for Education program with a laser-targeted demographic- students. It’s already been noted that these cheap laptops are stealing Apple’s market share of K-12 students, but now it’s even more apparent.

Chromebooks are good for students because they're cheap.
Chromebooks are cheap and affordable for students and this is why they’re winning.

Based on a report from FutureSource, Google’s Chrome OS owned about 8% of the market share in 2015, then it bumped up to 58% in 2016. That’s a whole 50% increase in a year. How’s that for a dominating market player?

Windows is also widely used in schools, including the target K-12 demographic. Its share stayed pretty much constant at 22%. And Mac’s OS dropped to 5% from 6%.

But, the major drop is Apple’s iOS. It ordinated about 26% in 2014, then dropped to 19%, then fell to 14%. Android is also declining, with a 1% decrease year-over-year, and now sits at a measly 1% share in 2016.

What does this mean? Is it even fair to compare iOS to Chrome OS?

Well, all it means is that Chromebooks are on the rise, and it’s taking a bite out of Apple.

The analysis states the pricing of Chromebooks is a major reason for the success of these laptops, and with a strong focus on two-in-one models as well. Though both Microsoft and Google does this.

The report states:

“The rise of Chromebooks has also set new industry benchmarks with regards to average device pricing, with prices reaching as low as $120 on certain projects…”


“The 2-in-1 form factor is ideal for education, providing schools with flexibility in usage. In addition, the technology behind stylus/pen usage has developed rapidly and ‘inking’ is expected to become widespread and add value to device usage.”

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It’s true. All the newer Chromebooks are all made with this convertible body and many now have stylus inputs and touchscreens. K-12 students can easily take advantage of this intuitive UI and just get wherever they need to go.

Apple’s market share continues to drop, as you can see here:

Chromebooks are beating Mac sales shown by this graph.
Chromebooks are growing in popularity, while Mac suffers from it.

From this graph, you can see that Chromebooks and Chrome OS are easily growing, while most of the others are declining. The biggest drop is iOS, which has no other explanation than giving its share to Google. I  mean, where else would the users go? They’ve been migrating over to Google’s platform, that’s where. It’s only hard data that shows this kind of migration. And it makes sense.

With Google constantly pushing their products into classrooms backed by the Google branding and trusted reliability, it’s easy to accept them with wide-open arms and embrace them. Especially if they’re cheaper to replace, secure, and updates are painless. And they integrate easily into the existing curriculum. That’s where Chromebooks shine. They offer an alternative to both Windows and Mac.

How about the rest of the world? It’s interesting.

Chrome OS is also on the rise, with a doubled market share in 2016 to 6%. iOS grew 1% to finalize at 9%, and MacOS dropped 1% from 2%. Android OS dropped from 26% to 17%.

The only big boomer is Windows, which is still the dominate OS around the world. It jumped to 65% from 56% and is still winning.

Apple is trying to recuperate. They’re launching a “Classroom” app similar to Google’s Education Suite in their iOS 9.3. It’s also offering an Apps Bundle for Education priced at just $199 for students and customers that basically gives them all their best software for a bulk price.

You can see they’re trying to get back into the game. The only thing for them to do next is to lower that laptop’s crazy price. If they can make a cheap, affordable laptop with an Apple suite built-in that offers integration with Google and Microsoft, then maybe they have a chance.

But they need something that differentiates and offers more value than Chromebooks.

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About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (check the "Contact Us" page).

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