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Acer overtakes Samsung in Chromebooks

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Shipments of Acer Chromebooks surpassed those of Samsung in the global market in the second quarter of the year, according to a Taiwanese market research firm.

In a report released Monday, WitsView said global Chromebook shipments totaled 1.8 million units in the April-June period, with Taiwan's Acer Inc. (宏碁股份) taking the largest share of 30 percent.

It marked the first time that Acer beat Samsung Electronics Co. in terms of Chromebook shipments, the report said, showing a 24-percent market share for the South Korean company and a 21-percent share for Hewlett-Packard (HP) of the United States.

“It is still hard to tell whether it's Acer or Samsung that will ship the most Chromebooks this year, as the two brands both had shipments of about 900,000 units in the first half of the year,” said Caroline Chen, an assistant research manager at WitsView.

“The competition will restart in the second half,” she added.

The affordable Web-centric device, however, is facing strong competition from low-cost Windows-based laptops priced at US$199-US$249, according to Chen.

“The price war may put high pressure on Chromebook shipments,” Chen said, projecting a 2014 market penetration rate of 3-5 percent for Chromebooks. The two most attractive features of Chromebooks are pricing and security, she added.

Citing data from the market research NPD Group, Acer said last week that it had topped the U.S. Chromebook market in the first quarter of the year with a 46.7-percent share.

In January, Taipei-based market intelligence firm Digitimes Research also forecast that global shipments of Chromebook laptops would rise significantly in 2014 to 4 million units, double the number last year.

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