Google: Chromebooks Are Selling Like Crazy But We Don’t Make Money On Them

Google: Chromebooks Are Selling Like Crazy But We Don’t Make Money On Them


JAN. 30, 2014, 10:03 PM 5,420 7

The growing popularity of Google Chromebooks doesn’t directly translate into more revenue for Google.

Google executives reminded Wall Street analysts of that fact on the company’s conference call on Thursday.

Nikesh Arora, Google’s chief business officer, happily pointed out that eight big PC manufactures are now making Chromebooks (nearly all of Microsoft’s partners).

He also said that yet another study, this one by Future Source Consulting, found that Chromebooks accounted for 20 percent of the PCs that K-12 schools purchased in 2013. That’s up from 1% in 2012.

We’ve heard that before. Google Chromebook VP Caesar Sengupta told Business Insider that as of mid 2013, about 22% of the school districts in the U.S. are now using Google Chromebooks.

This follows stats released a few weeks ago from NPD saying 21% of laptops sold this year through November were Chromebooks. Plus, two out of the three top-selling laptops on Amazon during the holiday season were Chromebooks. (The other was a laptop/tablet Windows 8 hybrid made by Acer.) And, 20 percent of IT professionals have or want to buy Chromebooks for employees, Forrester says.

But Google gives the Chrome operating system away for free. So all this success isn’t really impacting Google bottom line much, at least not yet.

As Google CFO Patrick Pichette explained on the call: 

“You got to remember that most of the Chromebooks are actually sold to other parties. So we’re really a facilitator … and so we don’t book revenue on the Chromebooks. So that’s really the puzzle.”


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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