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Education sales drive Chromebooks to a strong start in Q3

Distributors have enjoyed strong demand for Chromebooks over the summer months, according to Context

The UK continues to remain the strongest market in Western Europe for Chromebooks with distributors enjoying strong sales of the hardware in the first few weeks of the third quarter.

In a market that demonstrates a fair amount of seasonality the third quarter has become the strongest for sales of Chromebooks as education sales filter through.

The product has found its sweet spot in the education market, which does its IT spending in the summer holidays.

At the start of the year Google provided an update on the success it has had with penetrating the education sector with its online doc and classroom tools.

“There are 80 million educators and students around the world using what has become G Suite for Education. 40 million students and educators rely on Google Classroom to stay organized and support creative teaching techniques. 30 million more use Chromebooks to open up a world of possibilities both inside and outside the classroom,” stated John Vamvakitis, director, international Google for education, in a blog post.

Once we get to the end of September the demands is expected to fall off again, according to Context, but there should be some consumer sales in the Christmas period. There are signs with cost cutting already of some models on retailer websites that some products hovering around the £200 price mark could be reduced further as part of Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions coming in at the end of November.

“Chromebooks have seen growth for a number of quarters now but the segment continues to be characterised by strong seasonality: demand is high in the third quarter, driven by sales to education, and then sees another – but smaller – spike in the consumer-driven pre-Christmas season”, said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context.

“Therefore, as we move into Q4 2019, Chromebook’s share of overall notebook sales is expected to fall from this quarter’s high and drop further in the new year,” she added.

Acer remains the leading vendor in the market, followed by Lenovo, HP and Asus, with all of those vendors enjoying growth in July and August.

Chromebooks made up 11% of all notebooks sold by Western Europe’s largest distributors in those two summer months, which was an 8% improvement on the same period last year and was fueled by a 27% improvement in volumes.

Sales into commercial customers, with education one of the major verticals spending on the hardware, increased by 20% y-o-y and Chromebooks constituted 14.3% of all notebooks sold to business facing resellers in early Q3, a positive improvement of 12.7% compared to last year.

There are also expectations that the increasing movement towards Desktop as a Service (DaaS) could benefit the Chromebook proposition.  The devices can be easily managed through unified endpoint management platforms and there are a number of options for the mainstream enterprise market to use to manage the hardware, including Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop.

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