Google has beaten Apple on the laptop sales front for the first time in the United States, according to research house IDC. Google shifted approximately two million Chromebooks during the first quarter of 2016, compared to 1.7m Macs sold by Apple.
While IDC didn't break out Chromebook sales specifically in its published findings (these just fall under the PC category), the firm confirmed to The Verge that combined sales of Chrome OS laptops from Lenovo, HP and Dell outsold those of Apple Macs. IDC said this was largely due to the popularity of Chromebooks in US schools, thanks to their low cost and simple operation.
"Chrome OS overtook Mac OS in the US in terms of shipments for the first time in 1Q16," IDC analyst Linn Huang was quoted as saying.
The news is likely to further quell rumours that Google is looking to phase out its Chrome OS. Indeed, the company has previously estimated that approximately 30,000 Chromebooks are entering US classrooms every day and reaffirmed its commitment to the platform at Google I/O on 19 May, when it announced that it was bringing Android apps to Chromebooks. As a result, Chromebook users will be able to download apps from the Google Play store previously confined to Android smartphones and run them on their Chrome OS laptops.
However, IDC reported that the global PC shipments continued to decline overall, with Europe seeing a double-digit fall. IDC didn't reveal any information on how Chromebooks were performing outside of the US, although Lenovo, HP and Dell all beat Apple on PC shipments on a worldwide basis during the Q1.
Chinese manufacturer Lenovo sold just over 12 million computers during the period, giving it a 20.1% market share. This was followed by HP with 11.6 million (19.2%) and Dell with 9 million (14.9%). Apple sold approximately 4.5 million Macs during Q1 2016, giving it a 7.4% market share. Despite this, IDC noted that Apple continued to outperform the market overall, thanks to an uptick in sales in the US.