back to article Chromebooks are here to stay thanks to COVID, even though shipments crashed: IDC

Chromebook shipments in Q2 2022 fell by 51.4 percent compared to the same period in 2021, according to analyst outfit IDC, but the slump does not reflect the reality that Google has built a sustainable niche for its browser-based hardware. "While Chromebook shipments have trended down in the past few quarters, there's still …

  1. msknight

    Tie them into your back end... ooh er.

    Tie them into the back end and they'll have to continue buying your product. (perhaps less so for Google than others, maybe)

    Except I think that this cost of living crisis, if prolonged, will likely see the worst damage. Let's see the figures in a twelve month and see where things are at then.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Used by date

    I never knew this until was pointed out in an article & I believe the bod forcing us to buy all these shit Chromebooks never knew either. Mainly due to "Going Google" they wanted to be seen with all Google shit no matter how shit it was. Anyway, that all Chromebooks on their base have a end of life sticker. That tells you when they'll no longer be supported. If you're unlucky enough to get one thats been sat in a factory for a while then tough tits.

    They have always been fucking useless.

    1. steelpillow Silver badge

      Re: Used by date

      Not under either of my Chromebooks. Since I started using them, I have watched and awful lot of Wintel lappies die the obsolescence death. Our AC is on something a little contaminated, methinks.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Sorry, but I have also read, in these hallowed pages no less, that Chromebooks EOL does not depend on when it is sold, but when it is made.

        I'l never buy one of those.

        1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

          Chromebooks EOL does not depend on when it is sold, but when it is made.

          My understanding is it's based on which version the manufacturer installs. Though one would presume most will choose the latest available a manufacturer being slow out of the blocks can be eating into AUE.

          But AUE doesn't mean the date it powers down and never works again. It just means it won't be getting updates. That's not as bad as some paint it.

          I'l never buy one of those.

          Knowing XP would one day not be supported didn't stop me there. Nor again with Windows 7, or Windows 10.

          My Android phones and tablets are mostly on Kitkat and Lollipop and I'm happy with those for what I do.

          I don't have a Chromebook because it doesn't quite fit my needs but it comes close. AUE isn't much of an issue for me. I would probably buy a cheap 'beyond AUE' if the opportunity presents itself.

      2. Sandtitz Silver badge

        Re: Used by date

        "Not under either of my Chromebooks."

        I think some models had the date printed in the bottom. Anyway:

        "Every Chrome device receives regular updates from Google until it reaches its Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date, listed below, subject to support from component manufacturers. When a device reaches AUE, automatic software updates from Google will no longer be provided."


        "Since I started using them, I have watched and awful lot of Wintel lappies die the obsolescence death."


        I'm typing this on my Win8 era laptop, and the (free) Windows 10 is still getting the monthly updates. It won't be getting Windows 11 (due to Micros~1 planned obsolescence...) but unless the hardware dies, it will have had way over 10 years of service life. HP ended BIOS updates stopped 2 years ago, so there is that, but wouldn't call it obsolete just yet.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Used by date

          I have a laptop I bought around the time Windows 7 was introduced. After I had bought a newer one and set this one aside to gather dust for a while, I gave it to a friend for her kid to use - she's a teacher and single mom so can use a little help. Before giving it away I replaced the Linux I had installed on it with Windows 10. If her kid still has it, it is still receiving updates today, well over a decade after it was purchased.

          What's really dumb about this is ChromeOS is based on Linux, so there's no reason at all to have an expiration date. Google doesn't even make money from selling a replacement prematurely, so what possible reason could they have for the expiration scheme other than bending the knee to OEMs who are the ones who do benefit if they must be replaced at a faster pace?

          I'd almost believe Microsoft is behind it, somehow forcing the OEMs to require an expiration date from Google, to artificially increase Chromebook's TCO and make Windows laptops look better by comparison...

  3. steelpillow Silver badge

    School's out for ever

    Get 'em young. But how do you keep 'em when they fly the nest? Google's answer is to make running Linux apps easy. It has been in beta for a while but my latest Chromebook shows no sign of that. It has a pretty "Run Linux apps" toy which more or less hides any need to care that a VM running Debian has been installed and configured for you.

    So now my Chromebook has a pathetic ChromeOS app store, a garbage Android app store and a vastly wonderful Debian repos (aka app store). I feel all grown up.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: School's out for ever

      Does the Debian version get upgraded when a new one is released? Or maybe they use Sid?

      I thought the whole point of a Chromebook was lock in to Google services.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: School's out for ever

        "I thought the whole point of a Chromebook was lock in to Google services."

        Those "services" being to harvest as much data as possible from their users. Then monetise the fuck out of it.

      2. Dinanziame Silver badge

        Re: School's out for ever

        I thought the whole point of a Chromebook was lock in to Google services.

        Pretty much everything the kids so is online, so the hardware doesn't really matter — my son is using a MacBook and the school is married to Office 365 and Teams.

      3. The Indomitable Gall

        Re: School's out for ever

        It was, but they seem to have found that the Chromebook needs the perception of being a "real computer" to overcome perceptions of it being a "clumsy tablet with keyboard".

        They'll be hoping that the path of least resistance sees customers sticking with Google-run services and that the Linux subsystem is hardly touched, much like how parents in the 80s and 90s bought computers because they could be used for educational purposes, but all us kids ever did was play games....

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: School's out for ever

      Yeah good luck getting people to become Linux users when they go into the real world where Windows is the default. Anyway why wouldn't Google want them to remain ChromeOS users for life? Why would they encourage them to switch to something where they can't shove ads at them whenever they want?

  4. Detective Emil

    Are we talking about _this_ IDC?

    Nokia deal to 'rocket Windows Phone 7 past iPhone' [El Reg].

    Tbf, they did later recant [El Reg again]. Let's hope for the same on Chromebooks.

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