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Chromebooks grab only 0.02% market share

Chromebook Pixel

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 17 Apr 2013 at 10:33

Chromebooks have failed to grab even 0.1% of browsing market share, Net Applications has revealed.

Chromebooks first arrived in 2011 with a pair of laptops from Asus and Samsung. That was followed this year by Google's own Chromebook Pixel, a £1,049 high-end version.

Neither the budget Chromebooks nor the high-end Pixel are selling in volume, according to browsing stats from Net Applications, with Chromebooks having so few users that they don't even make the analyst firm's charts, according to a report from ZDNet.

For the week of 8 April to 14 April, Chromebooks grabbed only 0.023% of worldwide browsing, the analytics firm said. "Because it rounds to less than 0.1% it’s not showing up in our reports."

That 0.02% share puts Chromebooks on par with Windows RT devices - which were released much more recently and are already widely seen as a failure - and below even Windows 2000.

Chromebooks have never been seen as much of a success, but Google claimed at the Pixel launch that Chromebooks made up 10% of laptop sales at PC World, and that the Samsung device topped Amazon's sales list in the US.

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User comments

Not the hardware's fault

As Chromebooks were pretty shamelessly based on Apple's designs (which sell in far greater numbers) it can't be the fault of the hardware.

Which leaves...? Oh yes, that funny OS.

By SwissMac on 17 Apr 2013

No great surprise...

Why would you buy a device with limited functionality when you can get a full-blown laptop for a similar price?

By valeofyork on 17 Apr 2013

I was a relatively early adopter with a Samsung Series 5 (August 2011) and I'm not sure I'll be replacing it. I was initially enthusiastic, and it offered the promise of instant-on computing like an iPad with a built-in keyboard. (The laptop comparison is getting tiresome, if you ask me.)

With a continuously updated platform (every six-weeks, almost like clockwork with a noticeable gap last October) it feels like a I paid to be a beta tester. Features keep getting reimplemented, stuff breaks from time to time, and the worst of it is it is a lot less lean than it started out. An unkind and probably inaccurate description would be 'bloat', but the fact is my Samsung is almost unusably sluggish, and frustrating to use for anything other than casual web browsing. I usually expect any machine I purchase to last 4 years, but mine is not really fully functional any more after just 18 months. Thanks Google.

By c6ten on 17 Apr 2013

Unrivalled for its intended purpose

Being one of the 0.02% who own a Chromebook (Samsung series 3), I can genuinely say that it's a brilliant little machine that does its job superbly well.

It occurred to me that the overwhelming majority of my usage outside of work is in a web browser, so the Chromebook sounded spot on. These really are what netbooks should have been: fast, truly instant-on, secure, great battery life, nice keyboard and trackpad, very small and light, and for ~£220 also very justifiable as a secondary/tertiary machine. One of my best buys in years.

Where any typing, accurate clicking or right-clicking is required, I would say that a Chromebook easily beats any tablet (except the TF300, perhaps).

Some people simply can't understand the idea (or won't, without prior authorisation from Cupertino), but the rest of you should take a look.

By TheHonestTruth on 17 Apr 2013

An idea ahead of its time...

I think the IDEA of Chromebook is pretty impressive, but outside of the Metropolitan elite with decent broadband and\or 3\4G it simply can't work properly.

Even allowing for the sloth-like rollout of proper broadband and 4G in UK, I can see Chromebook's descendants being very useful in (say) 10 year's time....

By wittgenfrog on 17 Apr 2013

3G coverage

I don't understand how Chrombooks are considered useful.

I struggle to get a decent 3G signal in London on my mobile phone while travelling.

By firstsin on 17 Apr 2013

re 3G coverage

Google Doc's offline capabilities now make Chromebooks at least functional outside 3G areas, but they’re certainly still not ideal. Personally, my Chromebook has never left my lounge. I have my desktop for heavy lifting, my tablet (and work laptop) for commuting, and my Chromebook for emailing and casual browsing at home, and it’s excellent within that limited scope. Try shopping for holidays on your tablet and you’ll have a little example of what I mean ;)

It boils down to what you're going to be using it for. For emailing and browsing on the move, you'll be just as limited with a laptop when you're out of signal, and the laptop will be heavier and bigger too, or significantly more expensive. But yes, I doubt Chromebooks will be supplanting “full fat” laptops any time soon.

I’ve only had my Series 3 for a few months and its performance with its tiny ARM processor seems just as spritely as my (unnecessarily expensive) i7 desktop, within its scope, so I’m a little worried after hearing what happened to yours…

By TheHonestTruth on 17 Apr 2013

Any connectivity issues are going to be the same no matter what platform you use.

What interests me are the improvements that offline apps have made. IF i can work on a lot of things during the periods i'm offline, that will make up a huge amount of difference.
I'm currently considering either a chromebox or a mac mini because of what they are, not despite that.

By khellan on 17 Apr 2013

Further to my comments above, if any Googler wanders by, I have done a clean install of ChromeOS several times over the last 18 months, and it sometimes makes all the difference. But it's probably not what's causing my Samsung's sluggish behaviour: it just can't cope any more. Now all I can do is start removing extensions and shutting down tabs when they are not in use, which of course is beside the point.

Doing a clean install still requires a handy 8GB memory stick, though this can be fed by plugging it into the Chromebook itself these days, which can create a system image itself, which then be installed. I suppose they might even get around to eliminating that rather technical hurdle soon. Like I said, it's been a research project all the way. Google Glass owners should probably watch out.

By c6ten on 17 Apr 2013

I was considering buying this Chromebook until...

I realised that it doesn't support Skype or ooVoo.

If Skype and ooVoo are well supported in many platforms including tablets, why can't these be supported in Chrome OS which is similar to Android? Correct me if I am wrong.

I guess it's still early days for Chrome to catch up.

By barnettgs on 17 Apr 2013


I didn't know that Apple had any cheap, plasticy laptops with Atom and Celeron processors in their current range. I've certainly not seen any MacBooks in the 200-300€ range...

By big_D on 18 Apr 2013


The Chromebook is like an Android device, with Chrome browser installed, without any of the Android bits...

It is designed to be a purely web browser experience, no local app functionality.

By big_D on 18 Apr 2013


I thought there was a new comment policy on pcpro to delete Apple flamebait comments like the one from SwissMac?

It's just annoying to have trolls posting under every Samsung or Google-related story claiming that every device produced by those companies is copied from Apple. Especially in this case where the device is in a product range (cheap 200 pound laptops) that Apple doesn't go anywhere near!

By happyskeptic on 18 Apr 2013

Not the best stats

I'm having an issue with the statistics. Not that they're wrong but you have to remember that you're looking at ALL devices currently browsing on the internet and find it odd that a relatively new device only makes up a small proportion of it.

A headline of "Google Chrome devices only make up small proportion of internet connected devices" would have been equally accurate.

And I agree with happyskeptic too about SwissMac, but this article sounds like PC Pro themselves are Google bashing but misrepresenting the facts.

By artiss on 19 Apr 2013

Who cares what Swiss raincoat says. He is just showing how insecure Apple users are when they have to slag of anything that gives better value than their over priced stuff.

By curiousclive on 19 Apr 2013

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