According to new figures by IDC, 2020 is the first year in which Google’s Chrome OS was found on more new computers sold than macOS.
That’s due to the success of Chromebooks made by the likes of Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo. While no figures are given, it seems likely that these now outsell Macs.
Due to the number of Macs already out in the wild, this can’t be taken to mean that Chrome OS — which launched a decade ago — is a bigger platform than macOS. However, it does suggest this could prove to be the case in the future as new computers replace existing ones.
Overall, new machines running Chrome OS jumped from 6.4% of the market in 2019 to 10.8% last year.
Macs didn’t have a bad year, either — despite losing their number two slot in OS rankings. Macs increased their market share in 2020. For the year, macOS increased 0.8 percentage points from 6.7% in 2019 to 7.5% in 2020.
Although Google’s Chrome OS has outperformed macOS in individual quarters previously, this is the first time that it has convincingly beaten Apple over the course of the year.
Windows was number 1
Microsoft Windows, as usual, was the most dominant operating system. However, it was dented by the rise of both Apple, to a smaller extent, and Google, to a larger one. It declined from 85.4% in 2019 to 80.5% in 2020. While that still makes it pretty ubiquitous, it nonetheless counts as a notable win for Google. Apple, by comparison, has some good or bad news, depending on how you spin it.
In the last quarter of 2020, the most recent quarter for which figures are available, Windows dipped to 76.7% overall. MacOS, meanwhile, landed on 7.7%, slightly down from the previous quarter. And Google hit a record 14.4%.
Ultimately, market share doesn’t matter nearly as much as profitability — or, from a user perspective, quality. MacOS may have been overtaken by Chrome OS, but this is the most exciting the Mac has been for years. The transition to Apple Silicon has been great so far. And with redesigns of the iMac and MacBook in the works, 2021 is looking pretty good as well.