SALES of Google Chrome operating system-based Chromebooks will climb over the five million mark this year, according to beancounters at Gartner.
The analysts have predicted a boom in sales and an increase to move 5.2 million units in 2014, and said that falling PC and netbook sales are the low cost online laptops gain.
"Competition in the Chromebook market is intensifying as more vendors launch Chromebooks, with eight models in the market in 2014," said Gartner principal analyst Isabelle Durand.
"Now that the PC market is no longer growing strongly, vendors are searching for new business opportunities. They launched Chromebooks to revive interest in sub-$300 portable PCs once the netbook bubble had burst."
Consumers are expected to give homes to around half of all of the year's Chromebooks and the education market is expected to take a decent chunk. While Gartner said that enterprise use is there, it is limited for now to certain workers in certain industries.
"So far, businesses have looked at Chromebooks, but not bought many," added Durand. "By adopting Chromebooks and cloud computing, businesses can benefit; they can shift their focus from managing devices to managing something much more important - their data."
Samsung is leading the Chromebook market in shipments, and Gartner gives it a 65 percent market share in its 2013 figures. Second in the sales ranks is Acer with 21 percent, and way behind in third is HP with 6.8 percent.
Gartner said that such machines are still a 'niche' product and will remain in the also available camp for around five years. Durand added that Chromebook vendors should focus on the benefits of the devices, which extend to their use of cloud.
"Making a competitive Chromebook is not just a matter of hardware and price; what is most important is to show how the device's cloud-based architecture provides genuine advantages to users," she said. µ
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