Acer ranked world's No. 2 Chromebook laptop maker in 2013
August 13, 2014, 12:02 am TWN
TAIPEI--Acer Inc. (宏碁股份) was ranked the world's second-largest maker of Chromebook laptops in 2013 as the Taiwanese PC vendor continued offering high cost-performance products in the category, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
Acer, which had a 21.4-percent share of the global Chromebook market last year, designs Chromebooks with a consistent focus on delivering the best value for money, Gartner said in a report published Monday.
Samsung Electronics Co. led the sector with a 64.9-market share on Chromebook shipments of 1.7 million units.
The South Korean electronics giant was especially dominant in the education market, with its devices the most popular in primary and secondary schools, Gartner said.
U.S.-based Hewlett-Packard Co., the only vendor that has launched a Chromebook with a 14-inch screen, came in third with a 6.8-percent share of global Chromebook shipments, followed by Lenovo Group Ltd. (聯想集團) (6.7 percent) and Dell Inc. (0.3 percent).
A Chromebook is a laptop that runs Google Inc.'s Chrome operating system and mainly uses the cloud for storage. All applications are accessed or downloaded from the Google Play app store, for which a wireless Internet connection through a Wi-Fi or cellular network is required.
Gartner forecast that worldwide shipments of Chromebooks will increase 79 percent year-on-year to 5.2 million units in 2014, and will nearly triple to 14.4 million units by 2017.
"Competition in the Chromebook market is intensifying as more vendors launch Chromebooks, with eight models in the market in 2014," said Isabelle Durand, principal analyst at Gartner.
"Now that the PC market is no longer growing strongly, vendors are searching for new business opportunities. They launched Chromebooks to revive interest in sub-US$300 portable PCs once the netbook bubble had burst," she said in the report.
Gartner estimated that the education sector accounted for nearly 85 percent of Chromebook sales in 2013. In addition, of the 2.9 million Chromebooks sold during 2013, 82 percent were sold in North America, making it the major market for Chromebooks globally.
But Chromebooks will remain a niche market during the next five years, Gartner said.
The research firm suggested that for Chromebooks to reach a wider audience, vendors need to offer better features that address cloud-based usage patterns: faster connectivity, faster memory access, faster and larger solid-state drives, and strong user support in the education, business and consumer segments.
"Making a competitive Chromebook is not just a matter of hardware and price; what is most important is to show how the device's cloud-based architecture provides genuine advantages to users," said Durand.