Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) hast lost the 2016 back-to-school war. Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Google Chromebooks soundly defeated Apple Macs during the second-largest shopping season of the year. Two new reports confirm that Chromebooks have sold better than Macs. Did the Chromebook price-tag beat the Mac bells and whistles?
Apple Inc Can’t Win 2016 Back-to-School War
Apple probably had a great laugh earlier this week. The tech titan was likely in hysterics after Samsung said it was pulling the Galaxy Note 7 because they overheated and went up in flames. For Apple, those chuckles didn’t last very long. It seems Google can now have a good laugh at Apple’s expense.
IDC and Gartner, two prominent research firms, reported that Mac sales tumbled 13 percent in the quarter that had the back-to-school shopping season. On the other hand, Chromebook netbook sales rose, even with the PC market falling behind. Overall, the Chromebook beat Apple and exceeded overall PC shipment growth.
Ostensibly, Chromebooks were big hits for the crucial K-to-12 market. Parents appreciated the lower price of Chromebooks. Teachers enjoyed the fact that Chromebooks just have word processing and Internet browsing capabilities. The search engine juggernaut has said that more than 20 million Chromebooks are being used for education. And it isn’t just students utilizing the Chromebook. Teachers are as well.
The reason why these netbooks are a lot cheaper is because they maintain a cloud-based operating system and lack many of the features of traditional laptops. Meanwhile, the Macs and iPads have plenty of bells and whistles. But these features help raise the price of Macs, which can be too expensive for moms and dads everywhere.
In the U.S., an Acer Chromebook can start as low as $129.99. In Canada, the lowest price-tag is $149.99.
Can Apple Inc Beat the Chromebook?
This isn’t the first time that the Chromebook has beaten the Mac. This past spring, it was reported that more Google Chromebooks are sold in the U.S. than Apple Macs. In the first quarter of 2016, Google sold more than two million Chromebooks. Apple sold just 1.76 million in that same time frame.
What makes Chromebook attractive is that it operates as a web terminal. Users don’t need to install any software. They also don’t need to worry about bugs. Everything just operates on an Internet browser.
Can Apple Macbooks and iPads eventually overtake the Chromebook? It’s hard to project right now.
It’s obvious that the PC platform is dying off. However, Google is able to fill in that void and is quietly dominating that market. Although tech experts are focusing on the Mac vs. Chromebook battle, they should really be looking at a Google vs. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) war.
Microsoft loses money in two ways: Windows licenses and a drop in Office sales. Microsoft doesn’t have to worry too much at the present time. Tens of millions of PCs in the U.S. run on Microsoft. It’s still making a lot of money. But what happens when more and more people veer away from the PC? Both Apple and Microsoft have to bite their nails.