Chrome OS devices outsold Apple Macs for the first time in 2020

Chrome OS rose above macOS for the first time in 2020. (Source: IDC via GeekWire)
Chrome OS rose above macOS for the first time in 2020. (Source: IDC via GeekWire)
The latest full-year analysis of the PC market show that devices that run ChromeOS gained more and more market share during 2020 compared to those running macOS. Windows remained the market leader, although its share did fall compared to 2019. These changes might be related to the overwhelming demand for home-learning and -working solutions that marked the year just gone.

Apple debuted the first example of its own ARM-based chipsets, the M1, in its 2020 MacBooks. As compellng a shift in the PC sphere as this may have been, the latest market analysis suggests it may not have succeeded in drowning out other priorities and purchasing decision-drivers that were a hallmark of the same year.

IDC has released a report that compares the major operating systems and their fortunes last year. It shows that Chrome OS exhibited a steady increase in market share by the quarter, starting at 5.3% (or slightly less than macOS' 5.8%) in the first quarter of 2020 (1Q2020) to end at 14.4% in 4Q2020.

This means it beat macOS in every quarter for the first time in the same year. Apple's system saw its best performance in 3Q2020 with 8.4%, although Chrome OS still exceeded this with 11.5%. Meanwhile, Windows' market share fell sequentially throughout the year, starting with 87.5% in 1Q2020 and ending with 76.7% in 4Q2020.

On the other hand, there are still more users on macOS worldwide than there are on Chrome OS (according to StatCounter, at any rate). Nevertheless, these findings underpin other indications that more Chromebooks were shipped than ever before in 2020. This is likely due to the surge in interest in machines suited to remote education, which led to great success for companies such as Lenovo, HP and Acer in this space.

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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-02-17 (Update: 2021-02-17)
Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Editor - 3599 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.