U.S. Tablet Sales Led by iPad in 2013 as Chromebooks Overtake MacBooks

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Among "commercial channel" sales to distributors for corporate, government, and business customers, the iPad held the biggest share of sales for any tablet in the U.S. during 2013, while sales of Google Chromebooks made up a bigger percentage of the laptop market compared to Mac notebooks, according to a new report from The NPD Group.


The data in the report showed that the iPad accounted for 15.8% of personal computing device sales in the channel, which was greater than that of Android tablets at 8.7% and Windows tablets at 2.2%. However, the iPad's share of unit sales in the U.S. this year is down from the year-ago period, where it made up for 17.1% of sales. Sales of both Android tablets and Windows tablets grew by 4.5% and 1.4%, respectively.

Meanwhile, sales of Chromebooks in the United States grew to 9.6% in 2013, surpassing the 1.8% share of unit sales held by Apple notebooks. Windows notebooks still held on to 34.1% of the market, but was down 8.8% from the 42.9% share it held last year.

The news follows a broader report from October stating that Mac sales were down 7% year-over-year for the full September quarter, as the decline of traditional PC sales as a whole is likely due in part to the rising popularity of tablets.

Both the iPad and the MacBook line of notebooks saw refreshes this year, as Apple announced the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display along with updated models of the 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro at its October event. New versions of the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air were also announced at Apple's WWDC keynote this past June, and featured enhanced performance with significantly improved battery life.

Apple could also be gearing up to release new types of both products in 2014. Rumors of a larger-size iPad for release in 2014 have surfaced occasionally throughout the past few months, and a report in October from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that Apple may be planning to release a 12-inch MacBook with an all-new design in the middle of 2014.

Article Link: U.S. Tablet Sales Led by iPad in 2013 as Chromebooks Overtake MacBooks
 

kenypowa

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2008
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That is amazing number for the Chromebooks. Kinda remarkable it sold 5x Macbooks despite low consumer awareness. No wonder MS is scared ********.



Edit 1: looking at some of the bitter response by Apple fanboys remind me in 2009 when Android had 2% market share and the same group of people ridiculed the platform that there is no future. Many people simply have knee jerk reaction to anything Google does.
 
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JayCee842

macrumors 6502a
Jan 21, 2013
589
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That is amazing number for the Chromebooks. Kinda remarkable it sold 5x Macbooks despite low consumer awareness. No wonder MS is scared ********.
What's funny is how many laugh off chromebooks as being possible competitors. There is a market for them, and as time goes on I think we'll begin to see it more and more.
 

mw360

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Aug 15, 2010
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How many of these purchasers realised it didn't have Windows on it?
 

oiuh151

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2011
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ChromeOS is a pitiful excuse of an OS. By far the worst I have ever used.
It is getting harder to recommend people a low end $1000 easy to use Mac when all they do is browse the web/check their e-mail. Chromebooks are likely doing well because the majority of people simply use their web browser. Personally I need a full OS but it's clear that a lot of the public simply doesn't.
 

Geoadm

macrumors newbie
Dec 22, 2013
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People must be buying chromebooks so their android tablet has some company in the bottom drawer
 

EbookReader

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Apr 3, 2012
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http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9245050/Chromebooks_success_punches_Microsoft_in_the_gut

By NPD's tallies, Chromebooks accounted for 21% of all U.S. commercial notebook sales in 2013 through November, and 10% of all computers and tablets. Both shares were up massively from 2012; last year, Chromebooks accounted for an almost-invisible two-tenths of one percent of all computer and tablet sales.
the growth is crazy

2012: 0.2% of all computer and tablets
2013: 9.6% of all computer and tablets (21% of U.S. notebook sales)
2014: ???

And then there is the Chromecast, which has sold more than 3 millions already.
 

Michael Scrip

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Mar 4, 2011
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Chromebooks represented roughly 10% of the US commercial channel market from January to November of 2013.

It might help if I knew what "commercial channel" meant. Which retailers does that include? Or which does it exclude?

Otherwise... they're saying 1 out of every 10 desktops, laptops, Android tablets, iPads, etc... was a Chromebook.

Really? That seems high.


EDIT: EbookReader provided the above link that said "commercial channel" was businesses, schools, government and other organizations.

This chart does NOT represent the general consumer market. Those are the numbers I'm interested in.
 

dumastudetto

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2013
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Chromebook is not a real laptop. It's an overpriced toy that is essentially useless in the real world. Macbooks continue to dominate in the real laptop market segment with the world's most advanced operating system OS X.
 

gpat

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Mar 1, 2011
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It is really sad that there isn't a single PC OEM that can figure out the 5-6 simple rules used by Apple to build a good computer, and scale that down to $300-$800 territory. It is easily doable, but nobody is doing it.
No nonsensical touchscreen, just a good trackpad, good keyboard, decent screen, generous battery and pure SSD. It should be easy to build a $400 laptop with these rules, less powerful hardware than the Macbook Air but still plenty powerful for the common user.
But no, nobody understands it. So the PC industry deserves this.
 

tmiw

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Jun 26, 2007
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It is really sad that there isn't a single PC OEM that can figure out the 5-6 simple rules used by Apple to build a good computer, and scale that down to $300-$800 territory. It is easily doable, but nobody is doing it.
No nonsensical touchscreen, just a good trackpad, good keyboard, decent screen, generous battery and pure SSD. It should be easy to build a $400 laptop with these rules, less powerful hardware than the Macbook Air but still plenty powerful for the common user.
But no, nobody understands it. So the PC industry deserves this.
Yet they still sold almost 20 times more laptops than Apple did.

Honestly, most people really don't need a full laptop any more. And for those who do, a MacBook is still an extremely hard sell when one of the multitude of Windows 8 laptops is "good enough".
 

mw360

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Aug 15, 2010
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Take a look through Amazon reviews.

I'm sure this is a great product. I ordered 2 for our teenage girls. It didn't have the usual Windows that we're used to using like Mircrosoft word, Excelt etc…and we just weren't smart enough to figure out what apps would work with it.
 

Michael Scrip

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Yet they still sold almost 20 times more laptops than Apple did.

Honestly, most people really don't need a full laptop any more. And for those who do, a MacBook is still an extremely hard sell when one of the multitude of Windows 8 laptops is "good enough".
His point was... Windows laptops in the $300-800 range are NOT good enough. And he listed a bunch of reasons why. (poor screens, poor trackpads, etc)

Yes... crappy Windows laptops sell a ton.

But if you want a "good" one... it's slim pickins. That's what he was talking about.
 

a0me

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Oct 5, 2006
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The article should remind us that most models of Chromebooks cost $199, which is more than 5 times cheaper than the cheapest MacBook Air ($999).
 

Westside guy

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I don't get it. I work at a university and I see a LOT of people with laptops... and I can only recall one Chromebook, ever. Mac laptops are extremely popular, both with students and with faculty - I'd guess it's about 50% of the laptops I see are Macs. Maybe it's different as we're a technical department (EE) that's right next to the CSE department - so those are the students and faculty I tend to see.

As a side note - a quarter or so of our faculty really like the Surface. iPads and Android tablets are neck in neck, but both are definitely in second place.
 

tmiw

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2007
2,164
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San Diego, CA
His point was... Windows laptops in the $300-800 range are NOT good enough. And he listed a bunch of reasons why. (poor screens, poor trackpads, etc)

Yes... crappy Windows laptops sell a ton.

But if you want a "good" one... it's slim pickins. That's what he was talking about.
The vast majority of people buy solely or mostly on price. On that basis, it's "good enough". Never mind the weird issues they'll have, "all of them do that anyway".
 

eastercat

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,323
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Guess it's not surprising that cheap overcomes quality.

Two of my friends have kindles they bought recently. For a cheap advertising vehicle for Amazon, it wasn't bad. Not as good as the iPad, but it was good enough.

I've always thought of android as a group of wild dogs. Individually, they're insignificant; together they combine to take down the lion (i.e. Apple's market share). Amongst the dogs, Amazon is one of the alphas; they obviously contribute to android's dominance in tablets.
 

Parasprite

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2013
1,698
144
I think I've seen more netbooks than Chromebooks out in the wild...in fact, I don't think I've ever seen a Chromebook in the wild, just lots of tablets. People must not be carrying them around very much where I live.
 

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
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I'm thinking "commercial channel" basically means third-party resellers - e.g Best Buy, Office Depot. That seems to be who the NPD Group is trying to sell their services to, at least looking at their website.

It would certainly make more sense, given the relative numbers.
 
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