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October 23, 2014

Acer boosts Chromebook shipments up 67%

Researchers predict shipments could even double by next year.

By Ben Sullivan

Chromebook shipments have risen 67% in the last quarter, with sales expected to double in size next year.

The figures, from ABI Research, show that Acer has dominated the Chromebook market, maintaining its lead ahead of competitors such as Dell, HP, and Samsung.

ABI Research said that Samsung, HP, and Acer all accounted for 74% of Chromebook shipments during the first half of 2014.

ABI Research analyst Stephanie Van Vactor said: "Consumers are hungry for a product that is cost effective but also provides the versatility and functionality of a laptop."

Chromebooks are portable laptops that run on Google’s Chrome operating system. Generally low-end devices, the laptops have found strong footing in the education sector. Chromebooks were first introduced to the market in 2011 by manufacturers Samsung and Acer.

The laptops are cloud-orientated devices, and mainly use the cloud for storage. Applications are accessed or downloaded from the Google Play store, for which a wireless Internet connection through a Wi-Fi or cellular network is required. However, local storage capacity is usually small on Chromebooks, currently reaching around 16GB.

Van Vactor said: "The growth of the Chromebook market demonstrates a niche that is gaining traction among consumers."

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In emerging markets such as Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific, ABI Research said that bulk enterprise purchasing makes up 75% of Chromebook sales. However, it is predicted that by the end of the year, North America will have accounted for 78% of the Chromebook market in 2014.

Chrombook market traction comes amidst a slight recovery in the global PC market in the third quarter of 2014. Decline in shipments came to 0.5% compared to the same quarter in 2013.

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