Chromebooks Sales Disappointing at Just 500,000 Units

March 18, 2013 - Written By Chance Miller

When Samsung and Acer both announced their inexpensive laptops running Chrome OS, people suddenly had a renewed interest and faith in the Google’s desktop operating system. Originally many people just couldn’t justify spending $500+ on a Chromebook when the operating system was young and buggy and the hardware slow and laggy. According to a new report from a Taiwanese analyst, published by DigiTimes, however, people still do not have a large interest in laptops running Chrome OS.

The source told DigiTimes that sales of Chrome OS laptops have been right around the 500,000 mark so far, which when you think about how big the laptop market is, is rather disappointing. If this number is factual, then Google holds less than 1 percent of the notebook market. The report also claims that in the short-term, it does not look like things will change too much. The analyst speculates that Chromebooks will not begin to see large-scale adoption for at least one to two years, as Google “will still need some time to integrate” Chrome OS and Android in order to gain more consumer adoption.

“Since Google will still need some time to integrate its software, while Chromebook only has a less than 1% share in the notebook market, the sources believe the strategy may not have a significant effect on the IT industry in the short-term,” the report reads. Getting the IT market to switch to Chrome OS will be a real challenge. Google’s operating system does not have the developer tools available that IT professionals need to diagnose problems and attempt to fix. Of course, Google’s hope with Chrome OS is that there will be no problems due to the simplicity of it.

“Compatibility and consumer usage habits are the major obstacles that the OS would need to break through to attract demand,” the report claims. Which, in some cases is true. Many people are not willing to give up the familiar and offline apps such as Microsoft Office. They’ve grown accustom to using these programs on a daily basis, so unless Google can start a huge marketing campaign to get people to switch to Google services, then it will be hard to get people to leave their familiar territory.

Earlier this month, Google announced the first high-end Chrome OS computer in the Chromebook Pixel. If the company is having a hard time selling a $200 Chromebook, though, I can’t imagine a $1500 one selling any better. What do you think? Let us know down in the comments!