Acer’s ChromeOS-based Chromebooks, the company’s president Jim Wong told Bloomberg today, accounted for “5 percent to 10 percent of Acer’s U.S. shipments since being released there in November.” Google itself has generally been reluctant to share any information about shipments of devices with its browser-centric Linux-based operating system and we haven’t heard any concrete numbers from Samsung, Google’s other main Chromebook manufacturer either. Acer currently only offers one Chromebook, the WiFi-only $199 C7 model, which launched last November.
Acer is currently only selling the C7 through Google Play, Best Buy and TigerDirect.com. Wong told Bloomberg that he expects this ratio of 5-10% “to be sustainable in the long term.” He also noted that “the company is considering offering Chrome models in other developed markets.”
Google, for the most part, has focused on the use of Chromebooks and Chromeboxes (the MacMini-like ChomeOS desktop version) in schools and large enterprises and positioned them as alternatives to more expensive Windows-based laptops. Google also argues that the cost of ownership of a ChromeOS device is significantly lower than for a standard Windows machines. In schools, many teachers also consider Chromebooks to be viable alternatives to tablets and Wong told Bloomberg that early ChromeOS adopters “have been more professional, heavy Internet users with educational institutions, and corporations are also likely to show interest in the operating system.”
While Wong was positive about the future of ChromeOS (which Bloomberg’s reporters insist to just call “Chrome”), it’s comments about Windows 8 were significantly less enthusiastic. “Windows 8 itself is still not successful,” he told Bloomberg. Comparing ChromeOS and Windows 8, he also noted that he is encouraged by ChromeOS success, despite the lack of “all the marketing and promotions” surrounding the launch of Windows 8.