Google has become a diverse and varied company in the past decade, and while many thought that Android would be the only Operating System the Internet giant needed, Google had other ideas. Chrome OS was launched on the first Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung way back in 2011 and at the time people thought it was just a glorified web browser. Fast forward to today however and there are more names making Chromebooks and both Apple and Microsoft have more to fear than many will realize. Even more so in Apple's case.
During the same I/O session that introduced the audience to the Play Store running on Chrome OS, Google was pleased to announce that Chromebooks had, during Q1 2016, outsold Apple Macs for the first time. The figures are from IDC, who estimated that Apple sold 1.76 Million Macs during the quarter, while all of Google's partners selling Chromebooks, such as Acer, HP and Lenovo, sold around 2 Million Chromebooks. It's important to remember that this is just in the United States and that it was just for Q1 2016, which means that the story might not be the same for the rest of 2016. Indeed, Q1 is typically a bad time of year for anything that commands a price, which of course includes expensive Macs, and so it's not surprising to see Chromebooks outpace them for once. Even so, these figures show that Chrome OS and Chromebooks in general have gained credibility and with the Play Store and millions of Android apps joining them, this trend looks set to continue.
Linn Huang, an analyst for IDC told the Verge that "Chromebooks are still largely a US K-12 story". The Education sector is something that Google has been targeting for a long time now, and these figures will no doubt be music to Google's ears, but this focus won't make much of a difference to Apple, who is mostly content to sell less and make more profit. As for Microsoft however, they will be unhappy to see the Chromebooks that they once dubbed "not a real laptop" continue to gain in popularity. It looks like 2016 is going to be an interesting for Google all round.