Chromebooks have been something of a quiet success for Google; they haven’t become a mainstream hit, but they’re clearly giving Microsoft something to worry about. The irony about the Chromebook is that devices which don’t cost a lot, have great battery life and aren’t prone to viruses and such are successful in emerging markets and Chromebooks have been absent in them until just recently. Two Chromebooks have recently gone up for sale in India, fueled by RockChip processors to keep costs down. Keen to keep going forward with the momentum, DigiTimes has learned that Google’s Chromebook team has traveled to Taiwan looking for help to further promote the Chromebook in emerging markets.
Google has already gotten support from Chinese Haier and HiSense, along with Indonesia’s Nexian and India’s XOLO, but the team has apparently been negotiating with supply chain manufacturers with devices to ship later in 2015 and early 2016. Keeping the cost of these new Chromebooks down will be the key to their success, as Google looks to offer the online-centric devices to emerging markets throughout Asia. With Android One having launched last year, and Chrome OS and Android coming closer and closer together, Google could soon have a complete platform for customers in emerging markets. Software has been a big part of the Android One platform, and the same is true for the Chromebook. With a secure Linux base, Chrome OS is far, far less likely to leak information or be caught in a phishing scam than say a Windows laptop.
With Google I/O being held next week in the US, we could see some more big announcements concerning Chrome OS and Chromebooks in general, and it could be the sign of new partners coming onboard and new markets opening up for Chrome. Since it was launched quite some time ago, Chrome OS has grown to become something much more than “just a browser” and is its own platform, offering tight integration with the Internet and of course Google services. Will they be a success in emerging markets? Only time will tell.