TrendForce Reports 2016 Chromebook Shipments Exceed Expectations with Annual Growth Projected Around 30~40%

6 Oct

Notebook shipments worldwide for 2016 are projected around 156 million units, down 5.1% from 2015, according to the latest report from the global market research firm TrendForce. Chromebook shipments, however, has been expanding against the general trend of decline and are projected to achieve an impressive annual growth of 30~40%, totaling over 10 million units.

“Price has been a major factor behind the stronger-than-expected growth of Chromebook shipments this year,” said TrendForce notebook analyst Anita Wang. “The notebook market remained in a slump through the first half of 2016. Struggling sales of higher-end models compelled branded notebook vendors to promote the lower-priced Chromebook products to gain market shares during the period. Another important factor is Microsoft’s attempt to raise license fees for Windows. This encouraged notebook vendors to shift some their sales focus to Chromebooks, which feature a royalty-free operating system.”

Wang also pointed out that the Chromebook market has attracted a much larger group of device vendors beyond the major players in the traditional PC industry. “As Chromebooks gain tractions with consumers, even appliance makers such as China’s Haier and Hisense are entering the market,” noted Wang. “New entrants with their versions of Chromebook products further contribute to the overall shipment increase.”

U.S.-based Dell and HP are expected to come in first and second place in the global Chromebook shipment ranking for 2016 with their estimated market shares at 27% and 22%, respectively. Since the U.S. is the main market for Chromebooks, Dell and HP are in a commanding position.

Lenovo has dramatically expanded its Chromebook shipments by launching numerous new Chromebook models and adding new sales channels for them in the consumer market. The Chinese vendor will take third place in this year’s Chromebook shipment ranking with a whopping annual growth rate of 159%. Lenovo’s Chromebook market share worldwide is also projected around 18%.

After topping the Chromebook shipment ranking in 2014, Acer ceded a substantial portion of the market to the more aggressive Dell and fell to second place in the ranking in 2015. The Taiwanese vendors is expected to drop further to fourth place in 2016 with a remaining worldwide market share of just 14%.

“Besides having a remarkable shipment record this year, Chromebook is anticipated to capture a part of the education market in the near future as Google integrates Chrome OS with Android apps,” Wang added. “However, there is still the challenge of transitioning the Chromebook hardware from the traditional notebook design to the 2-in-1 form factor that features a touchscreen for Android apps. Developing the ideal Chromebook while keeping costs down will take some time.”

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Global market research firm TrendForce will be holding IT Industry Forecast for 2017 at National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) International Convention Center in Taipei on November 10, 2016. For details on the conference’s agenda and registration please visit http://seminar.trendforce.com/TRI/AnnualForecast2016/TW/english/ or contact us via telephone or email for more information.