While Still Small, Chromebook Share of Internet Traffic Jumps 700% since June 2012

While Still Small, Chromebook Share of Internet Traffic Jumps 700% since June 2012

  • 4 March 2013

Back in June, Chitika Insights data pointed to Chromebook Web usage rates in North America being 25% that of PlayStation users, and 1/100th that of Linux users – a small share, particularly for an OS that has been on the market for over a year. However, the holiday season brought with it a renewed marketing effort for the Chromebook, along with announcements of different manufacturers jumping into the Chromebook marketplace. Additionally, on February 21st, 2013, Google announced that it was set to release Chromebook Pixel, a $1,300 laptop closer to its PC and MacBook cousins rather than previous models. In light of these developments, Chitika Insights looked to revisit the Chrome OS usage environment.

To quantify this study, Chitika Insights analyzed hundreds of millions of online ad impressions within the Chitika Ad Network from January 12th through January 18th, 2013. The team then evaluated Chrome OS usage share, and compared it to the usage share of the PlayStation and Nintendo Wii – two devices with similar rates of usage as of our last study. A user agent analysis was employed to aggregate the impressions across various operating systems and achieve the following graphical results:

Chitika Insights Graph, Chromebook Internet Traffic Share up 700 Percent

While PlayStation doubled its usage share since our last study, Chrome OS increased its share by almost 700%. As an additional comparison, PlayStation’s share of North American Web traffic was nearly 300% larger than Chrome OS in June, but is only about 15% larger now. These findings seem to support reports that Chromebook sales are picking up steam. Acer President Jim Wong was quoted as saying the company was pleasantly surprised with sales of its Chromebooks, with models accounting for 5-10% of Acer’s U.S shipments since November. Looking at Chrome OS usage growth over time, there is a definite, sustained rise in late December 2012, indicating that Chromebooks were a popular gift during the holiday season – an effort supported by a new TV ad campaign.

While the recent growth is encouraging for the long-term prospects of Chrome OS, it has a long way to go before becoming a legitimate consideration for developers looking to optimize applications, programs, and other products. Web traffic from Chrome OS users still represents less than .1% of all North American desktop- and laptop-based Web traffic – a rate still far lower than that of Linux.