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

Nikesh arora by nrkbetaNrkbetaNikesh Arora, chief business officer

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 per cent 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 per cent 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.”

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