Editor’s note: As noted in the graph above, the numbers in this article refer only to the commercial channel, as NPD does not measure direct sales. Some of the language below has been updated to clarify this point.
A new release from the NPD Group indicates that notebooks running Google’s Chrome OS have gained significant ground in the past year, with Google’s free operating system managing to overtake Apple’s entire lineup of MacBooks for the first time. According to the statistics, Chromebooks outsold Apple’s notebooks in the consumer channel at an over five-to-one margin.
Of course, it should be noted that the numbers presented don’t take built-to-order machines into account, instead relying on sales of pre-configured options, but even with custom orders included the numbers indicate a significant shift in consumer notebook selection. Luckily for Apple, the biggest hit seems to be to Microsoft, whose notebooks lost a significant 8% of the market to Google.
That’s not to say Apple didn’t take a hit, though. Previously the Cupertino-based company’s notebooks held 2.6% of total computer sales. That number was nearly cut in half this year, with MacBooks claiming only 1.8% of the market.
Even on the tablet side, Apple has taken a small hit, with a loss of 1.3% of the market. However, the iPad still sits comfortably on top of the competition. Android-based tablets made big gains this year, more than doubling market share, but still hold only 8.7% of computer sales. In fact, even Windows-powered tablets have more than doubled in market share. Unfortunately for the folks in Redmond, that means their tablets now hold just over 2% of the overall commercial market instead of the previous .8%.
Overall, Apple lost a bit of of both the notebook and tablet markets, and while the company maintains its commanding lead in the tablet arena, Google—not Apple—seems to be more likely to someday knock Microsoft from the top of the notebook market.
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