Chromebooks Shine in North America

— April 03, 2014

The move away from PCs and growing demand for more affordable alternatives to higher end laptops and tablets is good news for the ultramobile market, but the expected growth is slow and steady.

In particular, an estimated 2.1 million Chromebooks shipped in 2013, with nearly 89% of total shipments reaching North America, according to ABI Research. The company forecasts a 28% increase of the company annual growth rate (CAGR), to reach 11 million in 2019.

The average selling price (ASP) and shipment growth of Chromebooks shows the market responding to products for the budget conscious; a reaction from a slowly-reviving economy, along with interest from the education business vertical.

“ABI Research tracked Chromebooks across six regions and found the ASP to be $338,” said Stephanie Van Vactor, Research Analyst at ABI Research.  

ABI Research observed the broader portable PC market continuing its struggle to regain market growth. The ultraportable segment, which is powered by the Windows 8 operating system and includes 2-in-1 configurations, saw minimal growth during 4Q 2013.

The company also saw the ASP of ultraportables decline in 2013, by 7.4% year-over-year—predicting ASPs will continue to decline through 2019, as competition for share of wallet from mobile devices and other form factors, continues.

Looking ahead, the company expects cost, connectivity and greater reliance on cloud services, to be driving forces in growth for ultraportable PCs.

According to Jeff Orr, Senior Practice Director at ABI Research, “There are many events that can shift the market in 2014, including the EOL of Windows XP, the adoption of Chromebooks and a stronger focus on web and cloud services. How consumers and business audiences respond to these changes will impact the trajectory of the market.”

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