Has Google's Chromebook Officially Failed?

It's been nearly two years since Google  (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) launched its Chromebooks, which were initially priced around $500. Even after prices came down to as low as $200, Chromebooks have remained a niche market segment lacking a lot of data. Net Market Share just recently pegged Chromebook usage at just 0.02%, which is basically a rounding error.

Instead, consumers in the $200 to $500 price range have been shifting spending toward tablets. Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPad starts at $500, Amazon.com's (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) Kindle Fire sells for $200, and even Google's own Nexus 7 is priced at $200. That doesn't leave much room for Chromebooks, which can be grouped into the dying netbook category.

In the video below, Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, discusses why the Chromebook may be considered a failure.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2013, at 5:51 AM, gopa123 wrote:

    AAPLE!!! it's the last chance to get in the mooving departure train, dont loose the opportun..!!!! .. you neve loose but only aquire ... at least the 2.5 -5.6% devidents...it's the minimum ...the max is 80% - and more during one year!!!

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2013, at 7:45 AM, rivi2k wrote:

    Here's a data point:

    http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Computers-Accessories-Lap...

    Not really sure your thesis is that accurate....

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 9:16 AM, cac1031 wrote:

    Uggh! These stories are so frustrating as they are clearly promoted by people who haven't done even basic research into the Chromebook market. There are so many reasons why the Net Market stats are bogus,starting with the sites they use to poll and the limited number of countries that Chromebooks have been available in--two until very recently.

    There are no official sales stats, unfortunately, so every story on this is based on anecdotal evidence and speculation.

    So how about considering things like the spectacular continued rate of reviews compared to other devices on Amazon, where the Samsung ARM has been the best-selling laptop for months or the feedback from the education market that offers stories like this: http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130417/NEWS02/30417...

    So many clueless speculators. Someday you'll get your comeuppance!

  • Report this Comment On July 07, 2013, at 3:19 PM, ddmd7 wrote:

    I personally love my google chromebook, but I agree that chromebooks are doomed to failure and I will tell you why. The chromebook in its current configuration will not survive, i will tell my story.

    I am a PhD student, I was completing an online assignment, and had to submit it to a review website (smarthinking.com). This website only accept .doc or .docx documents so .gdoc doesn't work. I tried to open my .gdoc on a windows machine and I kept on getting an error. It seems that google was having issues with the compatibility. While I understand that there are sometimes issues, it can be a huge problem for users and mainly because of the inflexibility of chromebooks. I ended up having to copy and paste all the text in the document, onto MS word and reformating the whole thing on APA style.

    So again I cannot fully rely on the chromebook, so instead of an asset it becomes an expense because you need another computer.

    I don't understand why google doesn't just sell the Chrome operating system for people to install it on any computrer. I would gladly use anything else than windows. Or come out with a line of computers like apple , but with google chrome, but full customizable PCs, and open Google Stores all over, that would increase the competition and drive prices down. I would definitely be a client.

    So in conclusion as much as I enjoy my chromebook, it is going to fail, and there is nothing anyone can do, in its current configuration. I will never ever ever pay $1200 for a chromebook pixel.

    I am a fan of the chromebook but I am also a realist.

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