For Google Inc., A Secret Weapon Hiding In Plain Sight

New data suggests that the Chromebook is rapidly consuming share at the low-end of the laptop market.

May 24, 2014 at 10:00AM

Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) is putting more Chromebooks in the hands of workers and students, and taking a chunk of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) sales in the process. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the details in the following video.

According to new data from NPD (via The New York Times), Chromebooks account for about 25% of low-cost laptops sold in the United States. Sound crazy? Check Amazon.com. Three of the top 10 most popular laptops priced under $500 are Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung.

For Apple, which doesn't have a sub-$500 system for sale, the news suggests that it's getting harder to find computer buyers. Mac unit sales are up 12% so far in fiscal 2014 after falling 10% the year prior.

For Microsoft, it must be troubling to see everyday buyers cuddling up to cloud computing in this way. To Microsoft's credit, they are diversifying but still depend on Windows for a large part of its sales and operating income.

Why? Google has put an Chromebooks into 10,000 schools across the U.S. That's a staggering number, and could help train kids that computing is supposed to be an entirely online experience where software is largely invisible -- a paradigm shift that would heavily favor the search king's business.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Have you tried a Chromebook? Do you see the cloud model replacing the typical install-and-manage PC model? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Google stock at current prices.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
While Google has been consuming laptop market share, Apple recently recruited a secret-development Dream Team to guarantee their newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out...and some early viewers are even claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, AND the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of these type of devices will be sold per year. But one small company makes this gadget possible. And their stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Google (A and C class) at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Apple, Google (A and C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Google (A and C class), and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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