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Chromebooks outsell Macs in the US during Q1 2016

For the first time ever in the US, Chromebooks have managed to outsell Macs. This likely due to their more affordable pricing and popularity amongst US school districts and in higher education.

The American market research company International Data Corporation (IDC) rarely offers up sales numbers when it comes to the number of Windows PCs sold in comparison to Chromebooks. However, the company felt the need to share this startling milestone for Google's low-cost laptops.

Linn Haung, an analyst at IDC, confirmed that Chromebooks were able to outsell Apple's range of Macs: “Chrome OS overtook Mac OS in the US in terms of shipments for the first time in 1Q16.” Although she did note that Google's laptops had an advantage over Apple's as a result of their adoption by US schools: “Chromebooks are still largely a US K-12 story.”

IDC has estimated that Apple was able to ship around 1.76 million Macs during the first quarter of 2016. Meanwhile Dell, HP, Lenovo and Asus were able to sell a combined total of almost 2 million Chromebooks during the same time period. IDC emphasised that the popularity of these devices in US schools was really helping to increase US shipments. However, it is much harder to gauge how popular Google's laptops are doing at global level as market research firms such as IDC and Gartner generally focus on the company's US sales.

Apple and especially Microsoft are likely to be a bit shaken by the success of Chromebooks within the Education Market in the US. PC shipments are currently in an overall decline and Microsoft had really believed that the launch of a new versions would help drive sales of new PCs.

There may be a slight increase in PC sales in the coming months as some organisations are preparing to deploy Windows 10 but Google has certainly secured Chromebooks place in the budget PC market.

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.