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Chromebooks outsold MacBooks for the first time ever in 2020

The world of desktop OS’s are dominated by Windows PCs with Macs coming in a distant 2nd place, but new numbers are pointing to a new a possible new reality.For the first time, Chromebooks powered by Chrome OS have outsold Apple’s MacBook powered by macOS. The new numbers are provided by IDC. Typically, MarketShare is only broken down by operating systems, but these finding include sales of devices powered by the top three operating systems.

In Q1 of 2020, both Macs and Chromebooks were dead even, then as the year went on, Chromebook sales started to overtake Mac sales. This isn’t surprising given that so many employees and students needed to start working/teaching remotely and schools and parents were now forced to purchase inexpensive laptops for use at home. One thing is for sure Macs are not inexpensive and that factor probably was the number one factor in Apple’s Mac market share drop.

  • Windows: Down 4.9 points, from 85.4% in 2019 to 80.5% in 2020
  • Chrome OS: Up 4.4 points, from 6.4% in 2019 to 10.8% in 2020
  • macOS: Up 0.8 points, from 6.7% in 2019 to 7.5% in 2020

Will the trend continue?

2020 was not a typical year, not even a little bit normal. So do we expect the current trend to continue through 2021. That all might depend on schools re-opening and not much else. Professional users will continue to use Windows in overwhelming numbers in 2021, with other professionals choosing Macs. It will all come down to schools.

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.

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