Chromebooks have outsold Macs in individual quarters before, but 2020 is the first time they’ve done so in a full year, and it may continue.
Apple It posted record sales of its Mac computers in 2020, but that didn’t stop Macs from lagging behind Chrome OS devices in terms of market share. Devices running Google’s Chrome OS platform experienced a 4.4 percentage point increase in market share over the course of the year. While Chrome OS devices previously outsold Macs in individual quarters, this is the first time they have done so in an entire year.
Apple’s Mac devices have been around in one form to another since the 1980s, making the rise of Chromebooks and associated devices all the more impressive given that the Chrome OS platform launched in 2011. Since before, Apple has occupied second place. in terms of market share behind Windows devices, and for the most part some distance away. However, Chrome OS devices have grown in popularity over the years with students and educators.
According to GeekWireApple got off to a good start in 2020, increasing the market share of its MacOS-powered devices from 5.8 percent to 7.6 percent in the second quarter. This increased further to 8.4 percent in the second half of 2020, but eventually fell to 7.7 percent as the year ended. Google’s Chrome operating system, on the other hand, saw nothing but gains throughout 2020, going from market share growth of 5.3% to 10% in the first half of the year to a steady increase in 11.5% and 14.4% in the second half. Of course, Windows-based devices still finished the year on top despite suffering a decline in share from 78.9 percent to 76.7 percent.
Can Apple bounce back or will the Chrome OS keep shining?
Macbooks now face the challenge of winning the favor of consumers at a time when many workers and students simply need hardware to help them navigate their respective virtual work or learning spaces. The point is, Chromebooks offer more flexible pricing options, making them a more viable alternative for a wider range of consumers, even more so now that they are getting better hardware at better prices. Apple would have to make its laptops more affordable in terms of hardware and prices to serve consumers struggling with the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic.
Apple could turn things around with its next Macbook, which is rumored to come with features and specifications that could attract more buyers, such as an expandable memory slot and integrated USB ports. These features give Macbooks the comforts of a more traditional laptop, making them more accessible to a wider demographic in the process. The hot-swappable storage option makes things more convenient for workers and students constantly browsing through multiple files, while the additional USB ports save them from having to spend on an additional USB hub just to connect external peripherals. If Apple decides to skip the flashy but expendable Touch Bar from the Maccbook, perhaps it can start offering them at lower competitive prices as well, which could help it regain Chrome OS market share.
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