ABI Research said Chromebooks, which rely heavily on the cloud, start up much faster than Windows PCsand are pretty affordable too, have “gained traction” in the North American market.
And it’s not just home users who are buying them – organisations are buying them too, with shipments close to five million last year.
Analyst Stephanie Van Vactor said that cloud services and the collapse of economies worldwide were the impetus for designers and developers to create cheap and cheerful devices, like the Chromebook.
“Chromebooks were the result, and the ‘anytime anywhere” access to content is a mobile-centric game changer,” she said.
The education market in particular has a yen for Chromebooks, mostly because of Google Apps for Education, she said. The business and the education sector together accounted for 62 percent of Chromebook shipments.
Another factor is the price. The average selling price for a Chromebook is $226 in the States, while it’s $420 for a tablet – presumably an Apple iPad.
“Google has taken to heart the popularity of mobile devices and developed a personal computing device that is a functional solution,” said Van Vactor. She said: “This style of computing works for the on the go lifestyle people are becoming accustomed to and will continue to impact the future of computing as the market shifts and changes.”