Google Chromebook business sales jump as Apple, Microsoft struggle

<i>This post has been corrected, as indicated below.</i>

While Apple and Microsoft saw their share of laptops sold to businesses and other organizations in the U.S. decrease in 2013, Google dramatically increased its portion of sales.

From January through November, Google sold 1.76 million Chromebook laptops in the U.S., up from 400,000 during the same period in 2012, according to a recent report by NPD Group. that tracked sales through commercial channels. That includes devices that were sold to businesses, government agencies, schools and other organizations.

With that increase in sales, Google’s Chromebooks accounted for 21% of laptops sold in the U.S. during that period, “up from negligible share in the prior year,” according to the report.


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Google Chromebook laptops run the company’s Chrome OS software, which essentially lets users connect to the Internet through the company’s Internet browser. Users can’t install applications like Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop, but they also do not have to worry about installing updates or security software.

But while Google’s market share jumped, Apple and Microsoft struggled to sell their laptops.

According to NPD Group, the market share of laptops running Windows in 2013 stayed flat compared to 2012. For Apple, though, market share actually fell. NPD Group said Apple’s sales for notebooks and desktops dropped by 7%.

[For the record, 1:51 p.m. Dec. 30: An earlier version of this post did not clarify that these figures represented sales through commercial channels.]


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