A study by industry analyst firm Gartner says that Chromebooks are projected to see 7.3 million units sold worldwide in 2015. This marks a 27% increase over the 5.7 million sold in 2014.
While it pales versus the 71.7 million traditional PCs (desktops and laptops) sold in the first quarter of this year alone, it does show Chromebooks are growing in popularity. It helps that many of the sales are being made by schools; educational facilities purchased 72% of Chromebooks in 2014. However, consumers are taking more and more notice of Chromebooks as secondary or cheap laptops. Most Chromebook sales continue to also be made in North America, with 84% of all global sales, followed by the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) with a distant second at 11%.
Business uptake seems to be not as fast as consumer or educational uptake, though that seems like a longer shot given some of Chrome OS’ limitations, plus how entrenched Microsoft is in the business world.
Whether 2015’s projected figures, or 2016’s projected 7.9 million (a smaller year-on-year growth than 2014-2015) will pan out remains to be seen. I assume Windows 10’s release very soon might change sales figures across the board, given it seems to fix Windows 8’s various unpopular flaws. Still, any sales growth in the desktop/laptop sector’s a good thing, given concerns of sales declines in favor of tablets and smartphones. It also shows that Chromebooks might not be just a fad, and that it’s a Linux desktop the public will actually use.