The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

Summary: There's a huge barrier to entry for millions of consumers considering the Chromebook: it doesn't work with Apple products. That barrier may be too big for Google to overcome.

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TOPICS: Google, Apple
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Google has set tongues wagging with the upcoming launch of the Chromebook devices, driven by Chrome OS and pushing the user to live in the cloud. The concept is interesting and Google has smartly aimed it squarely at the enterprise and the education system. It will be sold to consumers, too, and that's the market segment that may give Google the most fits with the Chromebook. There's a huge barrier to entry for millions of consumers considering the Chromebook: it doesn't work with Apple products.

That barrier is massive to overcome for a new product, which already faces a big job to convince consumers that a totally new type of product is what they need. What Google is going to run into headfirst is something no amount of positioning or marketing can deal with. The millions of existing iPhone, iPad and iPod owners cannot use the Chromebook with those devices. That is one task the Chromebook can't perform, and it is unlikely it ever will. Google will be looking at convincing Apple product owners that they need to switch, or forget the Chromebook. That is a huge unreachable market for a brand new product.

If Google and its Chromebook partners try to cover up that inability in the marketing message, it will backfire. There will be a lot of Chromebooks bought by existing Apple product owners, and they will quickly be returned for refunds. Companies will have to come up with a marketing angle for consumers that deals with that prior to purchase, and that is a very daunting task. I predict the number one reason given for Chromebook returns will be that "it doesn't work with my iPhone/iPad/iPod."

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Topics: Google, Apple

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86 comments
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  • Not following

    I do not see Mac users buying Chromebooks AKA nettops anyway. A Mac user would buy an Air or an ipad2 due to brand loyalty. Google is not going after the global 5% population of Mac users, they are targeting the other 95%.
    Your Non Advocate
    • Not sure about ....

      @facebook@...

      the 5/95 split, but there are a lot of consumers like me who do not own ANY Apple products and who have no intention of getting any, and for whom this is a non-issue. It is also possible that many consumers who have grown frustrated with their PCs will give up their Apple product(s) just to be able to use a very simple computing appliance, WITH a keyboard. There are also substitutes for these Apple products that may meet the needs of Chromebook users. Time will tell.
      Economister
      • RE: The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

        @Economister
        The Chromebooks are gonna tank. Why pay the same price for a device that is more cumbersome than a tablet and only just as useful. The reality is that you will still need a laptop so a laptop + tablet makes more sense thatna laptop + chromebook.
        global.philosopher
    • Actually, there are a lot of iPad owners that are Windows users, and Google

      would like some of those adventuresome iPad owners to try Google for their netbook since it is a lot cheaper than Apple alternatives.
      DonnieBoy
      • Yup

        @DonnieBoy I own an HP Pavillion, 2 iPads, iPod Touch, iPod Nano, iMac, Mac Mini.

        I buy the best technology for my needs, whoever it is. Not into fanboyism.
        MSFTWorshipper
      • RE: The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

        @DonnieBoy Cheaper and equivalent and two different things.
        non-biased
    • RE: The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

      @facebook@...

      I don't believe James mentioned anything about Mac users. He did mention the millions of consumers using <b>Apple's</b> iOS devices that cannot use the Chromebook with those devices. And if we are to use your 5/95 split then it would be obvious that the majority of those iOS users are Windows users, not Mac users. iOS devices are not Macs.
      dave95.
    • RE: The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

      @facebook@... your statement is based on a mythological sterotype of Mac users. While there may be a VERY small handful of brand extremists, most people who use Macs simply use Macs because they are good computers, and have no problem using products from other companies as well.

      There are far more people with the oposite polarizing mindset- people who would never buy an Apple product no mater how good it was, god knows why.
      UtopianSky
    • RE: The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

      @facebook@...

      <b>Apple iOS</b> is not a Mac OS. It's the operating system that is used on iPhones, iPods Touch and iPads. Most users of those devices are used to using their Windows or Mac computer running iTunes to handle firmware updates, content purchases, etc.

      That other 95% of users are often owners of one or more of the iWhatever and, as the article stated, are not going to be happy campers when they are unable to sync their devices with their new Chromebook.
      DNSB
    • Who said anything about Mac users?

      @facebook@...

      What about my iPod?
      Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • RE: The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

      @facebook@... Did you not read the piece? At what point did he say Mac user only? First Mac users are going to either buy another or not based on their experience, not blind brand loyalty like all the haters want everyone to believe. That being said this article didn't have anything to do with them, it was talking about iPhone, iPod and iPad owners.
      non-biased
    • RE: The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

      I have read an article about Microsoft Windows supporting Chrome but with this I think Apple is on the other way around. There maybe some issues between Chrome and Apple that we don't know.

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  • RE: The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

    Actually the biggest barrier is the Chrome Book itself! Nobody wants a device that requires you to be connected most of the time even if it comes with Verizon Data for free!

    Even more, people don't want to rent their software, they want to buy a license and use it whenever they want.

    Another thing, in this economy it is not the time to add another monthly bill!
    slickjim
    • &quot;Nobody wants&quot;?

      @Peter Perry

      Only idiots speak for everyone else.
      Economister
      • Well, this site is full of them

        @Economister
        many of them the bloggers themselves.
        John Zern
      • Including ....

        @John Zern

        the man in your mirror.
        Economister
      • RE: The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

        @Economister - so he was referring to you, then?
        HypnoToad72
      • And how exactly .....

        @HypnoToad72

        would I be in HIS mirror????

        Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
        Economister
      • RE: The biggest barrier to the Chromebook in the consumer space: Apple

        @Economister
        Speaking for yourself yay!
        Ram U
      • 100% on spot

        @Economister
        sick of those idiots that speak for everybody!
        theo_durcan