Based on numbers given by IDC, Geekwire reports that for the first time, Chromebooks led the market share by outselling Macs worldwide in 2020. The impressive sales of Google’s laptop helped it gain a large share of the market at the expense of Windows computers.
Chromebooks are laptops or two-in-one tablets manufactured by PC makers like Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo, and Asus that run on Google’s Chrome OS. It is reported that before 2020, Microsoft Windows dominated the market with a majority share but now, Chrome OS and macOS have emerged as strong competitors with Google ahead of Apple.
This is a big win for Google and a warning for both Apple and Microsoft. It also signals to app and game developers that Chrome OS can no longer be ignored. Frankly, any business that provides a product or service over the internet should be setting aside resources to ensure the Chrome OS experience is comparable to Windows and macOS.
Chromebooks capture a bigger market share than Macs and Windows computers
With a slow start in Q1 2020 with a 5.3% market share, Chromebooks on Google’s Chrome OS saw an impressive increase in Q2 2020 with 10.0% which continued in Q3 and Q4 of 2020. Geekwire details,
Q3 2020 and Q4 2020 confirmed the trend: Windows dropped further to 78.9% for Q3 and then 76.7% for Q4; macOS grew to 8.4% for Q3 and then fell back to 7.7% for Q4, while Chrome OS had 11.5% for Q3 and then 14.4% share for Q4. The Q4 results are particularly notable as the fourth quarter tends to be the biggest for PC shipments. While macOS widened its lead over Chrome OS in Q4 2019, Chrome OS came roaring back in Q4 2020.
The report accredits the success of laptops and tablets running on Chrome OS to online lifestyle shift and production hurdles due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in China (the world’s largest supplier of PCs), PC supply took a hit, leading to the sharpest decline in years. Then in Q2 2020 and the rest of the year, supply constraints were addressed and the rise in work from home and distance learning drove PC demand from businesses and consumers alike.
Chrome OS challenging Windows’ dominance of the low-cost laptop market is part of the bigger rebound of traditional PC sales, and part of the reason why Microsoft shifted Windows 10X to debut initially on single-screen devices.