Introduced in 2011, the Chromebook was initially developed mainly for the education sector and has achieved outstanding sales in the past two years. During Google I/O 2014, Google announced plans to further integrate Android with the Chromebook, and Digitimes Research believes the tech giant is looking to expand the Chromebook' presence in the consumer market in the second half of 2014, an expected business direction after Google placed both its Android and Chrome teams under the management of Sundar Pichai in March 2013.
With growing demand from the education sector plus new demand from the consumer market, the Chromebook's share in the notebook market is expected to reach 4-5% in 2014, Digitimes Research forecasts.
Market changes and application services developments will also affect Chromebook products' future development direction and Digitimes Research expects new Chromebook products to become available as soon as the third quarter of 2014. The number of Chromebook models with different touch panels, industrial designs and ARM processor choices, will increase and boost their prices.
To counter Google's aggressive move for the Chromebook, Microsoft released the Windows 8.1 with bing project in April and started releasing US$249 notebooks that it jointly developed with brand vendors in May.
Considering the price/performance ratio, most brand vendors have neglected Microsoft's original plan of using solid state drive (SSD) and instead adopted traditional hard disc drives (HDDs) for their US$249 notebooks, causing these devices to have a bulky appearance. Although the Wintel-based devices are expected to enjoy strong sales, they are still unable to get rid of the stereotype that low-price Wintel notebooks are unable to come in a slim form factor.
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